Bitcoin Price Crashes to New 2018 Lows as Selloff Resumes

Bitcoin and the broader cryptocurrency market slumped anew Monday, setting the stage for a prolonged downturn that could open the door to new support levels being breached.

Market Update

The bitcoin price crashed nearly 8% on Monday to reach a new yearly low of $5,180 on Coinbase. At the time of writing, the BTC/USD exchange rate was valued at $5,126, down 7.1% compared with the previous day.

The leading digital currency is trading at a premium on Bitfinex, which last quoted the bitcoin price at $5,231.

Aggregate pricing data courtesy of CoinMarketCap shows a price-per-coin of $5,199 for a total market capitalization of $90.4 billion. That’s the lowest in 13 months.

Daily trading in BTC rose sharply on Monday, reaching a high of $5.6 billion. Derivatives trading platform BitMEX continues to dominate the bitcoin market, processing more than a third of the daily transactions.

At current values, bitcoin accounts for 53.3% of the entire cryptocurrency market, which is collectively worth $169.5 billion.

Hash War Continues

Bitcoin’s precipitous drop began early last week as bitcoin cash, the fourth-largest cryptocurrency, devolved into an all-out civil war. The bitcoin cash hard fork, which was executed Nov. 15, resulted in the creation of two competing chains vying for control of the network. The so-called hash war between bitcoin ABC and bitcoin SV continues to this day. And while the primary implementation (ABC) has the upper hand, backers of the competing SV protocol have vowed to continue fighting for the long haul.

In the meantime, cryptocurrency exchanges have struggled to execute the chain split, with some platforms taking an entirely different direction than the one they stipulated prior to the hard fork.

The Hong Kong-based OKEx exchange faced severe backlash Monday after it changed the terms of its bitcoin cash futures contracts without warning. As Bloomberg reports, the exchange forced the early settlement of BCH contracts on Nov. 14, resulting in severe losses for some of its traders. The firm had $135 million worth of BCH derivatives contracts on the books at the time of the forced settlement.

The outcome of the bitcoin cash hard fork will have direct implications on BTC and the broader cryptocurrency market. Craig Steven Wright, one of the main backers of SV, has threatened to crash bitcoin’s price all the way down to $1,000 if BTC miners switch to mining BCH.

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.

Chief Editor to and Contributor to, 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