Ethereum, ripple and litecoin suffered even greater losses
Bitcoin has lost more than 10 per cent of its value over the last 24 hours, causing a flash crash across the cryptocurrency market.
Ethereum, ripple, litecoin and bitcoin cash suffered even heavier losses than bitcoin, seeing between 10 and 20 per cent wiped from their values.
The latest price crash follows several weeks of extraordinary gains for bitcoin, which have seen its value rise by around $5,000 since mid June.
Download the new Indpendent Premium app
Sharing the full story, not just the headlines
It’s current value of around $11,500 still remains way above the price it started the year on, though a long way off its all-time high of close to $20,000, which it achieved in late 2017.
The latest losses come just as bitcoin was about to hit a new high for 2019.
Cryptocurrency experts say some investors may be confused by the extreme volatility of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
“The real story is not that bitcoin fell by 10 per cent but that people are still finding it difficult to understand why this is happening,” Nicholas Gregory, founder of the blockchain firm CommerceBlock, told .
“Exaggerated volatility will remain hard-baked in cryptocurrency for many years yet. At any point, if bitcoin takes three steps forward, it cake take two, four or maybe more steps back.
“The important thing is that, long-term, the growing consensus is that people who keep the faith with bitcoin will be rewarded when it finally does break into the mainstream.”
Bitcoin has experienced extreme price volatility over the last week, trading between $11,000 and $13,000 (CoinMarketCap)
This is a view shared by Marcus Swanepoel, CEO of cryptocurrency firm Luno, who said extreme market movements for bitcoin, ethereum and other major cryptocurrencies is only to be expected, considering the industry is still only a decade old.
“At this stage in the development of altcoins, with many purely speculative buyers and sellers, there will always be a high level of volatility,” he said.
“However, it is important to recognise that over the last few months the underlying trend, as the future utility value of the coins becomes clear, is positive.”