The Bitcoin price (BTC/USD) has plunged to near one-year lows following a sudden downswing that hit the entire cryptocurrency market.
The original cryptocurrency hit a new 2018 low following a big drop in yesterday’s afternoon session. The digital coin fell to as low as $5,544.09, which was its lowest level since November 12, according to data from digital coin tracker Coinmarketcap. The digital coin finished the session at $5,738.35, well below its opening level of $6,351.24.
Bitcoin’s drop was part of a bigger price crash that was observed across the broader cryptocurrency. Most major digital coins, such as Ethereum (ETH), Ripple (XRP), Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Litecoin (LTC), suffered heavy losses, which resulted in the market losing nearly $30 billion of its value in just a few hours.
According to BKCM founder and chief executive officer Brian Kelly, the crash was a reaction to the upcoming Bitcoin Cash fork, which is set to occur later today. The fork could split the BCH protocol in two separate chains, each with its own version of the Bitcoin Cash token. Describing the event as a ‘crypto civil war’, Kelly yesterday told CNBC that some traders were concerned that Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash markets would run into a slowdown or “chaos” after the fork.
“People started selling. That triggered stops. Everybody got concerned,” Kelly said, as quoted by CNBC. “And that’s what happened today — the entire market sell-down.”
Kelly believes that the crash will be a short-term event and that it likely resent a buying opportunity. However, he also warned that people who “don’t understand what a ‘hard fork’ is” should stay away from the market for the time being.
“It is the deep end,” he said.
In today’s trading, the Bitcoin price stood at $5,659.16, as of 09:50 GMT. The digital coin has lost 10.6% of its value in the past 24 hours. Its total market cap currently stands at $98.3 billion.
For further information on how to buy and trade Bitcoin, see our comprehensive Bitcoin guide.