The crypto markets suffered some painful sell-offs in the early hours of Wednesday morning, with Bitcoin falling below $18,000 at one point.
After days of trading steadily around the $19,000 mark, CoinMarketCap data shows BTC slumped from $18,814 to $18,277 in the space of an hour — a drop of 2.85%.
But the worst was yet to come. BTC continued to grind downwards as Europe was waking up as a battle to secure support at $18,000 commenced. The world’s biggest cryptocurrency has since rebounded somewhat, and was trading at $18,317 at midday in London.
Many crypto pundits aren’t spooked by the latest drop, which is of a similar magnitude to when Bitcoin suffered rejection at $19,920 last week — a whisker away from all-time highs.
Predictably, some enthusiasts are seeing this as an opportunity to “buy the dip” and accumulate more Bitcoin while prices remain at a low point. Analysts have warned that a further breakdown could see BTC return to levels of between $14,000 and $17,000.
More Pain for Ether and XRP
With Bitcoin nursing a 2.61% loss over the past 24 hours, altcoins have also taken a tumble into red territory. Ether is down 1.78% over the same period — but XRP’s downturn is far more pronounced. The No. 3 cryptocurrency has lost 4.44% of its value since midday on Tuesday. It’s also been a day to forget for Litecoin, down 4.70%.
Theories are swirling as to what may have triggered the sell-offs. In part, this may be linked to some investors deciding to take profit after extraordinary triple-digit gains over the course of the year.
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