NEW YORK (Reuters) – Bitcoin has plummeted by more than 12% on Monday, extending its falls in recent weeks to a large selloff in digital currencies as sentiment due to feelings.
PHOTO FILE: a collection of Bitcoin tokens (virtual currency) is displayed in this illustration taken December 8, 2017. REUTERS / Benoit Tessier / File Photo
Several factors have accelerated the downward trend, analysts said, including greater regulatory oversight in the United States and a delay until January 2019 of the widely anticipated launch of bitcoin futures by Bakkt, the cryptographic platform of Intercontinental Exchange.
"These factors, coupled with the fundamentals of the tepid network and reports on the adoption of cryptography as a tool for services such as payments, have led to strong selling pressures against lack of purchasing resistance – to a point of apparent capitulation, "said Aditya Das, an analyst at Brave New Coin, an encrypted asset market data company.
Bitcoin dropped to $ 3,519.94 on the Bitstamp platform, after falling previously to 14 months of $ 3,462.57, down 12.6%. It has lost 74 percent of its value so far this year, after reaching nearly $ 20,000 in December last year.
The other digital currencies also fell sharply, with Ethereum ether down 7% to $ 106.69 and Ripple's XRP of 5.6% to 34 US cents.
Cryptocurrency market capitalization declined to $ 122.3 billion Monday, down 85 percent from the peak of nearly $ 800 billion at the start of January this year.
Traditional investors remained outside the bitcoin, with concerns over poor regulatory oversight and an undeveloped market infrastructure exacerbated by frequent price fluctuations.
Analysts said the United States Securities and Exchange Commission was partly responsible for the recent sell-off, with the delay in approving the new bitcoin instruments, as well as its investigation into early coin offerings and encrypted exchanges.
The SEC has ordered civil sanctions against Airfox and Paragon Coin that have sold digital tokens considered as securities in the initial offerings of coins. These companies have agreed to return funds to damaged investors, register tokens as securities, report periodically to the Commission and pay penalties.
Bloomberg reported this month that the United States Department of Justice has initiated a "Cryptovalute Tether investigation into the possible manipulation of bitcoin prices at the end of last year.
At the same time, strong price reductions are seen by some as an opportunity to enter fictitious cryptocurrency projects at a discounted price.
"It is important to stress that none of the unfortunate titles is directly related to the underlying fundamentals of legitimate cryptocurrency projects," said Donald Bullers, North American representative of the Elastos web3 infrastructure platform.
"Whether it's accusations of market manipulation, a controversial fork, or short-term speculators who decide not to play the long game, this dive will remove the wheat from the straw and the major decentralization projects will continue to survive", added.
Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; Editing by Susan Thomas