The world’s leading cryptocurrency opened Tuesday below the feared $5,000 line as the across-the-board price falls which began last week continue to rumble on.
The value of a Bitcoin fell to a 24-hour low of $4,721 (£3,668) and still looks a long way short of breaking back above $5,000 (£3,885) any time soon.
It marks the original cryptocurrency’s lowest price since October 2017, with many analysts suggesting the fall could continue towards Bitcoin halving its value.
Curiously, Bitcoin has been well-known to rally during November – a trend which has unfailingly played out over the last eight years – but last week saw a largely inexplicable slump in the days before the Bitcoin Cash fork on November 15.
The nerves surrounding Bitcoin have also spread to its peers, with many of the main cryptocurrencies experiencing a similarly dramatic double-digit fall. Only Ripple and EOS provided anything approaching stability as their falls were held in single figures, although Ripple did rally a little to start showing signs of a minor recovery.
Since last week the market has shed 23% from total capitalisation – a staggering $50 billion (£39bn) – to around $163bn (£126bn). At the start of this year, that figure was above $820bn (£637bn).
The market plunge is not unique. Indeed, many experts will be reminded of several huge fluctuations over the last decade. Most notably, in 2013, Bitcoin topped $1,263 (£981) before crashing under $160 (£124) fewer than 12 months later.
Investors, according to independent analyst Jane Winterburn, are now likely to wait for the market to bottom out before moving in to revive prices.
“People are now waiting for what many describe as ‘peak fear’ as Bitcoin capitulates, the white flags start to get waved and then the money moves back in to snap up what’s left,” she explained.
“After that, prices will rally and movement will return.
“It’s hardly the spirit in which many would want crypto to be used but, I’m afraid, it is what it is, and the very nature of trading means we will see this cycle over and over again.
“The key now is waiting until we see where that bottom is exactly.”