Cryptocurrency markets have lost more than $60 billion in value in less than a week, following a price crash that has caused bitcoin, ethereum and ripple to hit their lowest levels since 2017. The price falls appear even more dramatic given the remarkable period of stability that preceded them, which had prompted some analysts to warn that the lack of any major market movement since early September would likely be the "calm before the storm." Speculation around why the cryptocurrency collapse has happened focusses not on bitcoin but its spin-off, bitcoin cash. On 3 January, 2009, the genesis block of bitcoin appeared. It came less than a year after the pseudonymous creator Satoshi Nakamoto detailed the cryptocurrency in a paper titled'Bitcoin: A peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System' On 22 May, 2010, the first ever real-world bitcoin transaction took place.
Support forums for suicide prevention are being shared on cryptocurrency forums amid concerns for the mental health of bitcoin investors after a major market downturn. The price of bitcoin dropped to around $6,000 on Tuesday, down from above $8,000 at the beginning of August. At its peak in December 2017, bitcoin was trading at close to $20,000, after shooting up by around 1,900 per cent in value in 2017. Such dramatic gains saw interest in bitcoin spike as new investors rushed to buy cryptocurrency in the hope of making a quick profit. In early January, however, the price of bitcoin collapsed to around half its value in a matter of weeks.
Facebook has reversed its controversial ban on cryptocurrency adverts, prompting further speculation that the tech giant may be planning something major in the space. The lifting of the ban – put in place in January amid fears that ads were used for fraud – was welcomed by industry figures, with some saying that it indicated the firm's recognition of the potential of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. "Customer safety and education about the market should remain a priority, but a blanket ban is a poor approach to new ideas," Iqbal Gandham, the UK managing director of the eToro investment platform told The Independent. "Technology giants like Facebook are aware of the potential of blockchain technology to fundamentally change the financial system." But perhaps more significant than the immediate implications for cryptocurrency firms is what the move signals about Facebook's own ambitions.
Bitcoin's value has risen by 3 per cent over the last 24 hours, taking the cryptocurrency above $12,000 for the first time in over a year. The latest gains mean the price of bitcoin has nearly trebled since March, despite a global economic slowdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Other cryptocurrencies have mirrored bitcoin's fortunes, with ether (ethereum) rising from just above $100 in March to today's price of $430. Bitcoin remains a long way off its record high of $20,000, which it reached in late 2017, but the recovery is a sign that cryptocurrency is increasingly being viewed as a safe haven asset. During times of economic uncertainty, investors tend to turn to assets with a fixed supply, such as gold, as they are not subject to inflationary measures like quantitative easing.
Bitcoin rallied to a record, topping $66,000 for the first time as optimism surged for greater mainstream acceptance in the wake of the successful launch of the first exchange-traded fund for U.S. investors. While the historically volatile digital currency spent recent days hovering in a narrow range as it approached its previous April high, the vault past the threshold happened much faster: The price added more than a thousand dollars in a minute just after the open of stock exchanges in the U.S. Big moves tied to significant chart levels have been a common phenomenon in the little more than a decade history of cryptocurrency trading. "It's a validating moment," said Jesse Proudman, co-founder and chief executive at Makara, a crypto advisory firm. "It's no longer a question of does this asset class continue to exist -- I think that's a really meaningful mark in the history of the broader digital-asset class." Bitcoin has climbed to its latest high atop a tide of pandemic-era liquidity, speculative bets and expectations of wider adoption by institutional investors.