The Bitcoin price (BTC/USD) has hit a new 2018 low amid a fresh sell-off that hit the crypto market on Monday morning.
The original cryptocurrency had a decent performance over the weekend, especially on Sunday, when it seemingly stabilised above the $5,600 mark. Having opened the session at $5,559.74, the digital coin rose to an intraday high of $5,653.61 in the afternoon and eventually finished the day at $5,623.54.
However, the digital currency experienced a big drop in today’s early trading, with its price hitting a new 2018 low of $5,289, according to data from cryptocurrency tracker Coinmarketcap. The coin has managed to rebound in more recent trading and is currently hovering around $5,340.
Bitcoin’s plunge has been mirrored by the wider cryptocurrency market, with many digital coins having taken a beating since the start of the session. Ethereum (ETH), EOS, Litecoin (LTC) and Cardano (ADA) has been among the biggest losers in the top 10. The size of the crypto market has shrunk to around $174 billion, as part of the latest slump.
Bitcoin’s troubles started last Wednesday, when the coin’s price plunged below the $6,000 mark amid a sudden crypto sell-off. The fall came after weeks of low price volatility that had prompted experts to anticipate a big price move, though not necessarily a bearish one.
The initial sell-off might have been triggered by concerns over a Bitcoin Cash fork, which was executed on November 15 and led to a split in the BCH protocol.
“The Bitcoin Cash hard fork is proving far more destabilizing than initially thought as numerous competing factions muddy the landscape,” Bloomberg quoted Stephen Innes, head of trading for Asia Pacific at Oanda Corp, as saying in a note to clients last week. According to Innes, a dip below $5,000 “opens the door to a test of $2,500 as Bitcoin retail traders move from buying on dip to full-out panic mode”.
In today’s trading, the Bitcoin price stood at $5,339.41, as of 10:49 GMT. The digital coin has lost 4.5% of its value in the past 24 hours.
For further information on how to buy and trade Bitcoin, see our comprehensive Bitcoin guide.