bitcoin cryptocurrency

Max Fleishman/The Daily Dot

Bitcoin just lost more than 30 percent of its value in 24 hours

The losses come amid widespread selloffs.


Phillip Tracy


Posted on Dec 22, 2017   Updated on May 22, 2021, 7:06 am CDT

Bitcoin’s value has grown at unprecedented rates over the past few months—and now it’s tanking just as quickly.

The leading cryptocurrency plummeted to $11,473 on Friday morning, a 44 percent decrease from the record high it reached earlier in the week. The currency was trading at $15,813 at the start of Friday, but sunk 34 percent in a matter of hours to a low of $10,400 before recovering. The steep losses come amid widespread afternoon selloffs, though it’s not clear what exactly is causing them.

As Ars Technica points out, every major cryptocurrency has posted double-digit losses in the past 24-hours, some as high as 40 percent.

Bitcoin is a decentralized form of digital money that isn’t regulated by any banks or government. It uses cryptography techniques to ensure secure transactions and control the creation of new units.

Coinbase, the largest Bitcoin marketplace in the U.S., was forced to disable buying and selling, “Investigating – All buys and sells have been temporarily disabled. We are working on a fix and apologize for any inconvenience,” it said on its website. The marketplace later wrote: “Monitoring – due to today’s high traffic, buys and sells may be temporarily offline. We’re working on restoring full availability as soon as possible.” Bitcoin transaction volumes increased more than 30 percent on Coinbase while fees climbed alongside, hitting $55, up from the previous $26 high from last week.

Critics believe Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are bubbles waiting to burst. However, this doesn’t appear to be the crushing decline those analysts predict. It’s important to remember that Bitcoin has overcome numerous setbacks this year, including strong government regulation from China, one of its largest markets. It appears this is yet another one of those temporary setbacks, as Bitcoin rebounded slightly from earlier in the day. Still, today’s decline could be a glimpse at the future given the currency’s volatility.

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*First Published: Dec 22, 2017, 12:34 pm CST