The price of bitcoin, the world’s largest and most valuable cryptocurrency, now starts with the number four after falling to fresh 2018 lows on Monday.
Indeed, its price fell below $5,000 for the first time since October 2017 and its current price – hovering above $4,800 at time of writing – reflects a roughly 40 percent loss year-over-year. It's notable that this state of affairs came to fruition during what has historically proven to be a bullish month for bitcoin.
As CoinDesk previously reported, the month of November has concluded with a monthly gain for BTC seven times since pricing data was first collected in 2010, but its current monthly performance of -24 percent is heavily stacking the odds in favor of this November proving to be an exception to the 8-year trend.
BTC's recent plummet tells only half the story of a much larger cryptocurrency market sell-off, although its plunge below $6,200 on Nov. 14 was likely the spark to the powder keg that was the broader market.
From Nov. 14 to today, the cryptocurrency market has shed $50 billion and a whopping 23 percent from its total capitalization to where it stands now at $162 billion – a far cry from its all-time high north of $820 billion set this past January, according to CoinMarketCap.
What perhaps best depicts the extent of the market rout is the performance of the world's 10 largest cryptocurrencies by market capitalization over the past seven days.
(BitcoinCash (BCH) was not included due to hard fork experienced on Nov. 15)
As can be seen in the above graph, all ten cryptocurrencies are reporting negative price developments against the US dollar while eight of the 10 are reporting seven-day losses above 24 percent.
XRP is notably outperforming BTC and the broader market, down only 5 percent in that last seven days, and just 2.3 percent today – and yet is up over 20 percent against BTC in the past seven days.
In the past 24 hours, the world's 10th largest cryptocurrency, monero (XMR), is the worst performer of the top 10, down over 17 percent in that span while Metaverse ETP (ETP) is the worst performer out of the top 100, down over 37 percent, according to data from CoinMarketCap.
It's worth noting that significant drops like the one experienced today and for much of 2018 are not new to the cryptocurrency market. In 2013, the price of BTC rose to an all-time high of $1163 only to fall below $160 less than a year later. Also at that time, litecoin (LTC), the world's seventh largest cryptocurrency today, fell from $50 to just above $1.
Now-famously, they rose to the north of $19,000 and $320, respectively, only to quickly return much of the gains over the course of this past year.
Traders and investors alike are now likely waiting for the market to bottom out in what's known as capitulation, whereby market participants surrender completely and forfeit demand. At such a point in time when a bottom is formed, fear in the market is at its absolute peak, accompanied by falling sell volume that is slowly outpaced by rising buy volume.
Although its now certainly painful for market participants, it remains to be seen if a bottom will be reached any time soon.
Disclosure: The author holds BTC, AST, REQ, OMG, FUEL, 1st and AMP at the time of writing.
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