Crypto Selloff Deepens as Bitcoin Cash Hard Fork Proves More Costly Than Ever Predicted

Cryptocurrencies plunged anew on Saturday, as the majors struggled to establish a firm price floor following consecutive price declines over the past two weeks. Despite a whopping 41% drop over that stretch, a lack of adoption means prices are still searching for a bottom. As it turns out, the bitcoin cash hard fork instigated on Nov. 15 is proving more costly than ever imagined.

Market Update

The crypto-market selloff intensified late Saturday, as asset values plunged $15 billion over the span of just four hours. At the time of writing, the combined value of all cryptocurrencies at $123.4 billion, the lowest in over 14 months. Losses have reached a staggering $84 billion since Nov. 14.

Bitcoin’s price not only fell below the $4,000 floor, it touched new lows of around $3,755. Aggregate data courtesy of CoinMarketCap show an average price of $3,875 at press time, a decline of 11.2% on the day.

With the exception of a few dollar-backed stablecoins, no major cryptocurrency was spared from the carnage that ensued late Saturday. Among top-ten coins, losses ranged from 7% to 15%, with Stellar XLM shouldering the heaviest declines. The XLM price is currently hanging right around the $0.15 mark.

XRP fell 8.5% to $0.374, bitcoin cash lost 13.9% to $180 and Ethereum shed 8.8% to trade at $114.

Hard Fork’s Devastating Impact

The bitcoin cash hard fork instigated on Nov. 15 is proving more costly than ever imagined. Although the recent skid cannot be attributed solely to the fork, the resulting hash war between the ABC and SV chains has done significant damage. It not only diverted mining power away from bitcoin, but also undermined investor sentiment, created permanent fissures in the BCH community and demonstrated yet again that decentralization makes forking relatively easy.

The market-wide selloff began on the eve of the hard fork and has continued in multiple waves of selling that intensified earlier this week before going another leg lower on Saturday.

As Hacked reported on Thursday, billionaire entrepreneur and casino mogul Calvin Ayre acknowledged that the bitcoin cash ABC chain won the hash war, but did so only by cheating. In an article posted on CoinGeek, Ayre called for a “permanent split” between the two chains, which would allow for a “win-win” resolution to the hash war.

Most major exchanges have already recognized the ABC chain as the primary implementation for bitcoin cash and have rewarded it the BCH symbol accordingly. Ayre added that “Bitcoin SV is the original Bitcoin and not the original Bitcoin Cash.”

Craig Steven Wright, one of the more controversial backers of bitcoin SV, tweeted Ayre’s article on Friday and issued the following statement:

“In discussions with Calvin and his team, they want to focus on the Business applications we have coming in the new year and I respect his advice. As the following message from Calvin says, if they add replay protection, we will let the market decide.”

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