Bitcoin sank to its lowest price in over a year on Wednesday, with the prices of other major cryptocurrencies falling alongside it.
As of press time, bitcoin is trading at $5,525.92 – a more than 12 percent decline on the day – in the latest sign that volatility around the world’s largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization has returned with a vengeance.
Indeed, bitcoin’s collective market cap dropped below the $100 billion level for the first time since November 12 of last year, according to CoinDesk’s Crypto-Economics Explorer (CEX).
In the past 12-hours alone, the total capitalization of the cryptocurrency market fell from roughly $210 billion to where it stands now, $180 billion. Today’s 15 percent depreciation has led the market to its lowest value since Oct. 31 of last year, CoinMarketCap data reveals.
Other major cryptocurrencies are reporting declines in excess of 10 percent on the day, including ETH, XRP and bitcoin cash – the latter of which is gearing up for a contentious hard fork on Nov. 15.
Notably, market data indicates that in light of today’s market drop, XRP (as of the time of this writing) has the second-largest market capitalization for cryptocurrencies, surpassing ETH.
USDT, the stablecoin known more commonly as tether, saw a notable drop in its price to a low of $0.95 on crypto exchange Kraken, which offers one of the few trading pairs of the token against the U.S. dollar.
Tether, among other stablecoins, is intended to hold parity against the U.S. dollar, and data from CoinMarketCap shows that the token is trading in the $0.96-$0.97 range.
Because of the dip in USDT, the BTC premium on exchanges like Bitfinex, which trades against USDT, has risen to over $300. In other words, a single unit of bitcoin can now be purchased for $5,557 on Coinbase (a regulated exchange trading against USD) while the same unit costs $5,870 USDT on Bitfinex.
Disclosure: The author holds BTC, AST, REQ, OMG, FUEL, 1st and AMP at the time of writing.
Bear-gold-bitcoin-cryptocurrency-mouth-on image via Shutterstock; Graph via CoinMarketCap
Author: Sam Ouimet