Bitcoin plunges sharply and suddenly

It may be 2019, but bitcoin is back to its bad habits of 2018.

The largest cryptocurrency by market cap plunged sharply and suddenly early Thursday, falling from near $4,000 a coin to below $3,800. At last look, it was trading down 5.4% near $3,807. Rivals ether (-11.8%), litecoin (-10.2%), and bitcoin cash (-12.9%) were under even more significant pressure. Advertisement

"After Bitcoin's leap to $4,000 earlier this week, it seems that we're now seeing a reversal of this surge which in turn, is also causing XRP and Ethereum's price to fall," Mati Greenspan, senior market analyst at eToro, the global, multi-asset, investment platform, said.

"While Bitcoin was unable to hold on to Sunday's momentum, it's important to remember that this price decline still remains within the broader $3,000 - $5,000 range, meaning the significance of this should not be overstated."

And while no one has been able to pinpoint exactly what was behind the drop, Timothy Tam, cofounder and CEO of the Hong Kong-based crypto research firm CoinFi, told Bloomberg he noticed someone transfered 40,000 ether into an exchange about an hour before the sell-off occurred.

2018 was a rough year for investors in the digital-coin space. The crypto boom from 2017 turned into a bust, wiping out hundreds of billions of dollars of market cap as investors suffered through sharp and sudden drops in the market. Data from the crypto site showed the total crypto universe peaked with a market cap of $813.9 billion on January 7, 2018, and that was down to just $103.9 billion by December 13.

Bitcoin was still up 2.9% this year after Thursday's selling.Get the latest Bitcoin price here.>>Advertisement