Bitcoin price drops below $10000: Cryptocurrencies including Ethereum, Ripple and Litecoin nosedive

Bitcoin price drops below $10000: Cryptocurrencies including Ethereum, Ripple and Litecoin nosedive

The crypto-markets are in turmoil right now (Picture: EPA)

Bitcoin plummeted beneath $10,000 this morning as the value of most major cryptocurrencies nosedived.

In December last year, the world’s most famous cryptocurrency surged to a high of almost $20,000 before slumping in January during a grim ‘cryptopocalypse’.

Now the value of Bitcoin has plunged to about $9,990, dragging almost all of the other top 100 cryptocurrencies down with it.

Ripple dropped beneath $1 after losing 10 percent of its value in a day, while Ethereum hit a low of just over $800 after also slipping by 10% and Litecoin dropped by the same percentage to a low of about $190.

Bitcoin dropped beneath $10,000 and people are taking it very badly
This chart shows the slide of Bitcoin over the past 12 hours (Graphic: Coindesk)

Yesterday, we reported on analysis which showed a massive selloff was to blame for a drop in the price of Bitcoin.

So what’s to blame for the latest slump and will prices recover?

Trevor Gerszt, CEO of the investment firm CoinIRA, said: ‘Bitcoin’s drop back below $10,000 was likely the result of profit-taking.

‘Many investors bought the dip earlier this year when Bitcoin dropped below $6,000, so flirting with $12,000 allowed them to nearly double their returns in a very short amount of time.

‘It was neither surprising nor unexpected to see a sell-off once Bitcoin approached $12,000, and once the profit-taking has finished we expect to see continued long-term price appreciation.’

The crypto-slump comes as Britain’s Treasury Select Committee of lawmakers on Thursday threatened the introduction of new laws to govern the notoriously wild and volatile virtual currency markets.

It has launched a probe which will focus on the opportunities and risks posed to consumers, businesses and the government by the rising popularity of cryptocurrencies, the committee said.

A global investment craze over bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in the last year has seen wild gyrations in their valuations, making fortunes for some investors, while costing others a fortune.

Bitcoin, the best known virtual currency, lost over half its value earlier this year after surging more than 1,300 percent in 2017.

This week, a mass sell-off drove down the value of Bitcoin and most rival cryptocurrencies including Ethereum, Ripple and Litecoin.

‘People are becoming increasingly aware of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, but they may not be aware that they are currently unregulated in the UK, and that there is no protection for individual investors,’ said Nicky Morgan, chair of the Treasury Committee.

Politicians will take written and verbal evidence from a range of experts on the digital currencies, before making recommendations to the government about possible further action.

The inquiry will consider whether the government is striking the right balance between protecting customers and businesses without stifling innovation.

Governments and regulators worldwide have in recent months shown themselves divided on what to do about cryptocurrencies, which have already spawned investment scams promising returns of over 1,000 percent and hacks on the exchanges that store the virtual funds.

The finance ministers and central bank governors of France and Germany earlier this month called for the policy and monetary implications of cryptocurrencies to be placed on the agenda of the upcoming G20 meeting of the largest advanced and developing economies.

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The Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney meanwhile on Monday said that Bitcoin has ‘pretty much failed’ as a currency measured by standard benchmarks, and is neither a store of value nor a useful way to buy things.

But the BoE is one of a number of central banks and governments around the world that are looking into the underlying blockchain technology as a potential way of issuing digital-only currency, for making settlement more efficient, or for distributing and tracking money in the public sector.

Saudi Arabia’s central bank last week signed a deal with U.S. based digital currency firm Ripple to help banks in the kingdom settle payments using the technology.

MORE: Bitcoin investors ‘should be prepared to lose all their money’, Financial Conduct Authority warns