Bitcoin Price Consolidates After Steep Loss as Market Cap Holds Below $100 Billion

Bitcoin’s market capitalization remains firmly capped below $100 billion on Friday, as prices struggled to regain momentum following a catastrophic selloff earlier in the week. Although bitcoin remains firmly in the grip of the bears, price action over the last 24 hours suggests the worst of the downshift had passed.

BTC/USD Update

The bitcoin price is currently trading at $5,555.00 on Coinbase, having gained 2.6% over the previous 24 hours. The leading digital currency is still trading at a premium on Bitfinex, though the price spread has narrowed to around $120. BTC printed a low of $5,530.90 on Bitfinex but has since recovered near $5,674.

Aggregate pricing data provided by CoinMarketCap show a 24-hour return of 2.3% for BTC. Based on those metrics, the digital currency is averaging a price-per-coin of $5,616. That gives bitcoin a total market capitalization of $97.6 billion, down from $111 billion earlier in the week.

Bitcoin suffered a double-digit loss on Wednesday, with prices eventually piercing below $5,200 in the following session. That marked the lowest level in well over a year. At the same time, the broader cryptocurrency market plummeted to a low of around $176 billion as altcoins and tokens lost nearly $30 billion in value in less than two days.

At the time of writing, the combined crypto market cap had recovered to around $184.8 billion, though trade volumes had declined by roughly a quarter to $18.8 billion.

Virtual currency exchanges processed more than $6.3 billion worth of bitcoin trades in the last 24 hours. BitMEX, a leading derivatives platform, processed a whopping 29.3% of all bitcoin trades. No other exchange even came close in terms of daily turnover.

Recovery Likely

Bitcoin’s steep and sudden reversal followed a period of unprecedented calm for the virtual currency. As of Monday, bitcoin’s volatility index had fallen to the lowest level in over two years. The 30-day volatility index has since more than doubled to 2.15%, according to bitvol.info.

The sudden rush to liquidate BTC and other crypto holdings occurred on the eve of the bitcoin cash hard fork. The fork, which was initiated Thursday, has divided the bitcoin cash community into two camps with an ensuing tug of war over hash rate and user support. At the time of writing, the bitcoin ABC implementation was in the lead in terms of blocs mined.

Bitcoin’s massive decline, which has pushed prices deeply into oversold levels, is likely to be scooped up by bargain hunters in the coming days. The means a return to $6,000 – a level commonly associated with mining costs – shouldn’t be ruled out. If history is any indication, the market has a vested interest in keeping prices above that level.

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Author:
Chief Editor to Hacked.com and Contributor to CCN.com, Sam Bourgi has spent the past nine years focused on economics, markets and cryptocurrencies. His work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE and Forbes. Avid crypto watchers and those with a libertarian persuasion can follow him on twitter at @hsbourgi