The madness of Bitcoin’s recent few weeks took another twist today as the world’s most popular cryptocurrency crashed through the $10,000 barrier.
Less than three weeks since its outstretched fingernails scratched the underside of $14,000 amid the ear-splitting cries of “$20k here we come”, BTC has taken a dive to $9,500 and once again found itself at the wrong side of the psychological $10,000 line.
Like a stumbling drunk taking an undignified fall flat on its face on the pub doorstep, there were few warning signs of any mishaps other than simply consuming too many glasses of false triumph.
The first heavy round came last week when Donald Trump grabbed his Twitter revolver and fired off every shot from the hip as he branded Bitcoin “highly volatile and based on thin air”.
Curiously, crypto fans the world over took the 45th President of the United States of America’s out-of-the-blue mugging as a badge of honour. Bitcoin’s value barely moved. If anything, it reacted positively to the news.
More alarmingly, however, came Tether’s outrageous scandal which appeared to have printed some $5bn Tether tokens and put the crypto markets on the brink of apoplexy.
Bitcoin’s value began to rise instantly until half an hour later when Bitfinex CTO Paolo Ardoino dramatically announced the $5bn had been an unfortunate “mis-click”.
The very thought that it could be possible for anyone in such an organisation to make that kind of monumental and unbelievable miscalculation would have sent any other market crashing, followed by tearful employees of various institutions taking to the streets clutching the contents of their desks in a small cardboard boxes.
Incredibly, the almost invincible armour of BTC held out once more and the market volume began to build – seemingly oblivious to a couple obvious wounds in the flanks – and ride out another damaging storm.
But then came Wells Fargo. Yet another arrow in the back for Bitcoin which continued to hold its ground, but the trickles of blood were beginning to show a weakness with no sign of help.
The killer blow then, perhaps, was delivered by US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin as he turned his sword on Facebook’s Libra project.
Mirroring his president’s deep concerns about cryptocurrency, he labelled crypto a “national security issue”.
It may be coincidence, but shortly after the 56-year-old former hedge fund manager twisted the knife Bitcoin fell to its knees – a place where it remains falling below $9,500.
Where this digital gladiator goes from here is anyone’s guess.