The world’s leading cryptocurrency plummeted to its lowest price since September 2017, crashing to as low as $4,119.00 in the last 24 hours, according to Coindesk. As of 12:30pm GMT, Bitcoin had recouped some gains and was trading hands at £3315.54 ($4,252.74), down 4.19 percent on its opening price. This week has marked one of the worst drops for the dominant cryptocurrency since the Bitcoin bubble burst at the start of this year. The value of Bitcoin peaked in December 2017 at almost £15592.50 ($20,000), meaning a plunge of almost 80 percent for BTC in 2018.
BTC is not the only cryptocurrency plunging in price – both XPR and Ethereum are also down.
As of 12:30pm GMT, Ripple’s XPR is currently down 6.38 percent as it hovers around the £0.31 ($0.40) price tag.
Ethereum has plunged by 7 percent in value and is trading at around £94.38 ($121.06).
Despite the volatility currently gripping the cryptocurrency market, Nigel Green, chief executive of the deVere group, predicts investors will use this time as a major buying opportunity.
Mr Green said: “Just a few weeks ago crypto traders were airing concerns about the lack of volatility in the crypto market.
“Now volatility is back and many savvy investors will be using this as a major buying opportunity, perhaps the last one of 2018.
“Savvy investors understand that digital currencies are the future of money and, as such, they will be capitalising on the lower prices in order to build their portfolios and shore-up their positions.”
A new version of Bitcoin Cash was launched last week, which was itself a ‘fork’ from the original Bitcoin blockchain.
Bitcoin Cash is now known as Bitcoin ABC and the new fork is called Bitcoin SV.
These forks generate turbulence in the market because investors have to choose which version they will support, according to Mr Green.
He also blamed the recent drop in crypto on the recent scrutiny of the SEC, the US financial regulator, and a ‘herd mentality’ of some investors.
Mr Green said: “There are three main drivers for the current bout of volatility.
“First, is the uncertainty surrounding the Bitcoin Cash hard fork.
“Second is the recent scrutiny of the SEC, the US financial regulator.
“However, I have long supported and called for regulation of the crypto sector.
“Indeed, regulation of the digital currencies is now, I believe, inevitable and will in the longer term give investors even more protection, driving confidence and prices in the burgeoning market.
“And third is the infamous ‘herd mentality’ of some investors.
“Simply, some of the cryptocurrencies are lower because they went lower.
“Prices might fall further over the next few days, but we can expect a long-term upward trajectory for the crypto sector.”
The positivity for crypto was also mirrored by David Thomas, Director and Co-Founder of GlobalBlock, who predicted the Bitcoin bubble burst is “nothing to get unduly worried about”.
He said: “The three over-riding reasons appear to be a technical break to the downside, the hard fork in Bitcoin cash and an overall reduced market interest in cryptocurrencies.
“I am sure some sections of the market will now get carried away believing this spells the end for crypto.
“However, with a current overall market cap of close to $147 billion there is still enough to suggest that this move was typical of any market that is still in its infancy in relative terms, and nothing to get unduly worried about.”