If there’s a floor to Bitcoin’s terrible 2018 trajectory, it may not have hit it yet. The leading cryptocurrency lost 12% of its value in the last day, falling south of the $3,400 mark.
Reminder: a year ago today, one Bitcoin was worth $17,900. Bitcoin hasn’t been this low since mid-September 2017, as its glorious — and finite — rally gained traction.
This isn’t even the first significant Bitcoin tumble of the month. It lost 8% at the start of December. In the preceding weeks, it had further significant daily drops.
As per usual, Bitcoin’s travails are mirrored by falls in other cryptocurrencies. XRP (Ripple) fell by 12% in the last 24 hours, and Ether (Ethereum) by 17%.
One virtual coin that’s bucking the trend is Bitcoin SV, or “Satoshi’s Vision” — a reference to the mysterious founder or founders of Bitcoin, known as Satoshi Nakamoto — which is up 22% on the day.
Bitcoin SV is a recent fork of Bitcoin Cash, which is itself a fork of Bitcoin. And now Bitcoin SV seems to have overtaken Bitcoin Cash (down 17% on the day) in market capitalization — $1.94 billion to $1.78 billion.
The forking of a cryptocurrency generally occurs when different stakeholders in that cryptocurrency have different visions for how it should operate in future. The Bitcoin SV backers include the controversial entrepreneur Craig Wright, who has claimed to be Satoshi Nakamoto. Their intention was to create a version of Bitcoin that’s more profitable to “mine” than the older alternatives, though thus far that hasn’t worked out.
Anyhow, why the general drop? There haven’t been any seismic events in the cryptocurrency world in the last day or two — U.S. lawmakers introduced a couple of bills relating to protecting consumers in the scene, but the proposals were light on detail. So it’s most likely just a matter of group sentiment.
Right now, that sentiment is not good.