Crypto Markets Extend Slide as Volume Plummets; Bitcoin Approaches $3,500

Crypto markets experienced renewed selling on Sunday, as bitcoin approached a long-term support that, if breached, threatens to expose new bottoms in the short term. Altcoins and tokens were also on the back foot, as traders piled into dollar-backed stablecoins.

Bitcoin Approaches Critical Level

With the exception of dollar-backed USDT, USD Coin and TrueUSD, all cryptocurrencies in the top-30 traded lower on Sunday. The bitcoin price reached a session low of $3,509.08. It has since recovered at $3,572.64, where it was down 2.5%.

Via Bitstamp, the BTC/USD exchange rate is still seen hovering in the low $3,500 range.

Bitcoin faces critical long-term support near $3,550, and a firm break below this level would likely lead to a further unwinding back down to $3,000. The leading digital currency bottomed just above $3,100 last month before regaining more than a third of its value.  Read: Bitcoin Approaches “GTFO” Level.

Bitcoin is likely to experience heavy volatility in the short term as long-dormant crypto accounts become active once again. Over the past 30 days, dormant bitcoin wallets have accounted for about 60% of the circulating supply, a strong sign that large holders were shifting assets to virtual exchanges. A similar influx preceded two major price swings in 2015 and 2017. More on this story: Bitcoin Likely Headed Lower as Whales Activate Long-Dormant Accounts.

Altcoins, Tokens Follow

Where bitcoin goes, altcoins and tokens seem to follow. This gravitational pull has only strengthened during the bear market, eroding what many believed was a broad decoupling between bitcoin and altcoins at the beginning of 2017.

The cryptocurrency market capitalization is down another $4 billion on Sunday, reaching a new three-week low of $118 billion. Trading volumes have plunged over the last seven days. On a 24-hour basis, total market volumes have drifted below $14 billion, according to CoinMarketCap.

Among the top-ten cryptocurrencies, losses ranged between 1.5% and 9.6%. Tron fell by the latter amount, as TRX drifted back toward the low $0.02 range.

Tron Price Breaks Even For Week After 52% Growth; TRX Still Ahead of Pack

Ethereum declined 6.8% to $118.20, the lowest in three weeks. The Ethereum network is scheduled to undergo a highly technical upgrade sometime over the next four days. More on the Constantinople hard fork can be found here.

XRP is currently trading 2.7% lower at $0.3205. Bitcoin cash and EOS are both down more than 6% at $125.88 and $2.28, respectively.

Litecoin’s price fell 4% to $30.96. Bitvoin SV, now the tenth ranked cryptocurrency by market cap, drifted lower by 9% to $75.84.

Beyond the top-ten, Cardano fell 6.2% to $0.0406, Monero declined 3.3% to $43.61 and Dash fell 3.6% to $70.76.

The fallout from the 51% attack on the Ethereum Classic network has been particularly devastating for the ETC price. Ethereum Classic is down another 7.6% to $4.26, where it was ranked 18th by market cap.

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