Bitcoin plunges as rout continues to drag down cryptocurrency market


Bitcoin fell more than 11 percent against the U.S. dollar in 24 hours by Friday afternoon during Asian hours, marking fresh declines for the world’s largest cryptocurrency.

It’s been a rough December for the digital token: Its price dropped 8 percent on the first day of the month.

Bitcoin traded at $3,367.50 as of 2:30 p.m. HK/SIN (1:30 a.m. ET on Friday), falling 11.32 percent over the last 24 hours, according to data from industry site Coindesk.

Prices of XRP and Ether, the second and third largest cryptocurrencies by market value, plunged in the same 24 hour period. XRP fell 10.16 percent and Ether dropped 15.56 percent, according to Coindesk.

One analyst told CNBC via email that the cryptocurrency market “definitely seems to be suffering.”

“The market is in a general bearish trend that doesn’t seem to be letting up driven by what seems to be a general negative sentiment towards crypto,” said Zennon Kapron, director at financial technology consultancy Kapronasia. “As the market is heavily retail driven, it’s very much at the mercy of group sentiment which causes huge swings.”

“Without any positive drivers in the near future, this could continue well into 2019,” he said.

This calendar year has generally been unkind to cryptocurrency prices, with the industry seeing its entire market cap falling almost 86.92 percent from its highs in January, according to data from Coinmarketcap. 24-hour trading volumes have also plunged about 61.63 percent since then.

In recent industry related news, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) posted an update on Thursday regarding the approval process for a rule change proposal for the allowance of a bitcoin exchange traded fund (ETF).


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