Crypto Markets Extend Slide as Bitcoin Plunges Below $10,000

Crypto markets slid further into negative territory on Thursday, as bitcoin and the major altcoins hastened their declines.

Market Update

For the second time this month, bitcoin’s price fell back below $10,000 at the start of Asian trading. The largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization reached a low of $9,906 on Bitstamp. The average price was last seen hovering near $9,973, down 6.9% for the day.

Bitcoin (BTC/USD) swings back below $10,000 at the start of Asian trading. | Source: CoinMarketCap.

Beyond bitcoin, each of the top-50 cryptocurrencies reported declines. Ethereum, the second-largest crypto by market cap, fell 4.5% to $186. Ether is facing significant downside pressure since falling below $200.

XRP continues to be one of the worst-performing majors of 2019. On Thursday, the price fell 3.4% to $0.2640. The so-called banker’s cryptocurrency risks an imminent fall below the 20-cent handle as bearish pressure continues to build.

Bitcoin cash lost the $300 handle on Thursday, falling 5% to $298.15.

Litecoin dipped toward its recent swing low on Thursday, putting it at risk of further declines. The Litecoin price was last down 4.8% at $71.51.

The total cryptocurrency market cap has declined by more than $18 billion in the last 24 hours and is now worth $258.5 billion.

Market Sentiment Turns Bearish

The latest crypto-market meltdown follows another failed rally that saw bitcoin come within a hair of $11,000 – a move that could have opened the door to greater upside pressure. The rally was stoked by technical trading after bitcoin’s daily relative strength index (RSI) approached its lowest level of the year. It was also driven by news that Bakkt is finally ready to launch its bitcoin futures platform next month.

That the market failed to sustain its rally is nothing new, but the concern now is that bitcoin has carved out a series of lower highs. What could soon follow are lower lows.

Altcoins and tokens have had virtually no major catalyst in recent weeks as they’ve mostly traded in lockstep with BTC. As demand for alternative assets continues to decline, the market is increasingly becoming bitcoin-centric. For bitcoin maximalists, this is inevitable. Market participants hoping for a more balanced ecosystem view that as a bad sign.

The sharp reversal also serves as a reminder of just how quickly fortunes can change. Just over 24 hours ago, Hacked reported that cryptocurrency markets were up $20 billion since Bakkt announced its launch date. While there’s strong reason to believe that Bakkt will be a game-changer, the wealth may not spread beyond bitcoin.

Bitcoin’s dominance continues to hold above 68%. That’s 68% of the aforementioned $258.5 billion. The remaining 32% or so is comprised of more than 2,400 cryptocurrencies, according to CoinmarketCap.

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. Charts via CoinMarketCap.
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