Despite hitting record highs of $41,962 on Friday, bitcoin this afternoon slumped to just above the $30,000 psychological threshold. The digital currency has recorded losses of approximately 20 percent since Sunday at the time of writing.
This has resulted in billions being wiped from BTC’s market capitalisation in only hours.
Bitcoin has since rallied slightly and is trading at $32,921 (£24,343) as of 6.30pm GMT, according to CoinDesk data.
In what Mati Greenspan, Licensed Portfolio Manager at Quantum Economics, wryly described as “impeccable timing”, the precipitous price slump coincided with the UK Financial Conduct Authority warning crypto investors could “lose all their money”.
The watchdog said: ”Significant price volatility in crypto-assets, combined with inherent difficulties of valuing crypto-assets reliably, places consumers at high risk of losses.”
Scott Minerd, Global Chief Investment Officer of Guggenheim Partners is among the bitcoin bulls who have swiftly turned bearish.
He tweeted at 4.52am GMT today: “Bitcoin’s parabolic rise is unsustainable in the near term. Vulnerable to a setback.
“The target technical upside of $35,000 has been exceeded. Time to take some money off the table.”
However, some cryptocurrency experts have urged for calm, suggesting such corrections are to be periodically expected.
Marcus Swanepoel, CEO of cryptocurrency exchange Luno told Express.co.uk: “While the crash might seem sensational, nobody should be waving their arms in a panic.
“What we’re seeing is an expected and completely healthy price correction.
“It’s not too dissimilar to what’s happened in previous bull runs, such as in 2017, where a very similar price correction followed a sharp period of increase for bitcoin.
“The medium to long-term outlook for bitcoin remains healthy which, for both investors and users of bitcoin, is the most important thing.”
Paolo Ardoino, CTO at Bitfinex agrees, writing in a statement: “We’ve seen a correction after a recent epic run for bitcoin.
“As an exchange that has processed US$3 billion of spot and margin trading volume over the past 24 hours, Bitfinex has once again excelled.
“As cryptocurrency emerges as an established asset it is vital for exchanges to have the necessary bandwidth and infrastructure to manage such episodes of extreme volatility.”
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Rachid Ajaja, CEO and Founder of AllianceBlock, the first globally compliant decentralized capital market, also thinks such an event was almopst inevitable.
He told Express.co.uk via email: “After a parabolic move like this there is always likely to be a correction.
“However I don’t believe the correction will be as large as we have seen in previous cycles, and very much doubt we will see below $20k again.
“There are some areas of interest where price consolidates in the run up to the $30-$32k area, $26-28k area, and maybe as low as the $22-$23k area.
“After a bottom is found I think we will see some consolidation and a more gradual move up.”
Ever since Bitcoin burst on the scene almost exactly 12 years ago, controversy has reigned over whether BTC’s incredible price spikes are mere market bubbles or instead representative of the role digital assets may play in the next-generation of financial ecosystem.
Some suggest events like today are yet another example of a bitcoin bubble bursting.
But others believe such often-violent price fluctuations are instead inevitable and will occur frequently
Antoly Crachilov, asset management firm Nickel Digital CEO, said today: “Bitcoin often exhibits large upside swings that tend to be followed by corrections.
“This is a normal behaviour for a new technology in the early stage of its adoption curve.
“Only professional investors with a long-term view on the underlying technology should have exposure to this asset class.
“They also need high-risk tolerance levels and, importantly, never lose sight of the forest for the trees.”
After hitting then-record highs of $19,783.21 at the end of 2017, bitcoin plunged to less than $8,000 in only two months.
Those who invested in the flagship crypto at its peak then witnessed 60 percent of bitcoin’s value vanish.