At press time, the price of bitcoin, the market’s largest asset, was trading below $11,000 according to the CoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index (BPI), up slightly from a daily low of $12,504. Notably, this figure was more than 30 percent below an all-time high of near $20,000 reached on Sunday.
But whereas earlier this week bitcoin’s decline coincided with an increase in the total value of the market as a whole, the value of all cryptocurrencies saw a reversal on Thursday, dropping roughly 25 percent from a high above $650 billion to a low of $480 billion today.
All told, only a few assets seem safe from what appears to be an exodus from the cryptocurrency markets, with Ripple’s XRP, and relatively little-known ICO tokens for GameCredits and Electroneum, posting 24-hour gains.
Ripple’s XRP cryptocurrency, which powers the company’s open-source XRP Ledger, hit an all-time high above $1.30 yesterday, a figure that was up nearly 400 percent from its value at the beginning of the month, when it traded at just $0.25.
That’s not to say there aren’t inter-day gains to be had in the market.
CoinDesk data from Friday’s morning trading session (6:00 to 12:00 UTC) indicates that cryptocurrencies NXT and Bitcoin Dark both posted gains above 15 percent within the six-hour period, though they were the only assets to gain more than 2 percent.
Still, big losses were observed during the stretch as well, with Ripple’s XRP down more than 12 percent for the window, and cryptocurrenices monacoin, TRON and RaiBlocks posting losses in excess of 15 percent.
In what is likely to be one of the biggest corrections ever seen in the burgeoning cryptocurrency market, the total value of the nascent asset class, created with the advent of bitcoin in 2009, shed billions on Friday.
At press time, the total value of all cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin and the 1,300 others trading, is down more than 30 percent from its all-time high of $650 billion reached earlier this week. But while the markets hit a low of $418 billion today, year-over-year the markets are still up 4,000 percent, from just under $10 billion on Jan. 1, 2017.
So, is the market selling to buy holiday gifts? Or are evil bankers at work in the market?
While theories abound, the data is indisputable: The price of bitcoin fell nearly $5,000 in just hours to drop below $11,000, and many other cryptocurrencies have followed its downward trend, dropping 30 to 40 percent over the day’s trading.
At $10,800, the price of bitcoin was nearly half of what it was when it topped $19,783 last Sunday.