Bitcoin slumps below $6,000, drags market cap below $200 billion

Bitcoin is fast losing its shine, and the momentum of the down move risks causing widespread panic, says at least one analyst.

After holding at $6,000 over the weekend, that support line for the No.1 digital currency finally gave way late Monday, sending it to $5,900.38. That’s the lowest level since June 29 and inches away from making a new low for 2018.

The August slump has shed more than $70 billion of the total value of cryptocurrencies, which has reached a nine-month low of $191 billion.

“We are seeing fear-based selling pushing the market lower at the moment,” said Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at Think Markets U.K. “All that’s changed is the delay in the SEC decision,” referring to the Securities and Exchange Commission delaying its ruling on the VanEck-Solid X bitcoin ETF application.

Moreover, Aslam said more large institutions are dipping their toe in at these levels. “Large players are definitely getting more active at these levels,” Aslam continued, adding he heard an unnamed German bank was considering a significant purchase of bitcoin.

In Tuesday trading, a single bitcoinBTCUSD, -4.09% was last worth $6,033.23, down 4.3% since Monday 5 p.m. Eastern Time on the Kraken exchange and less that $300 from making a new low for 2018.

The underperformance of altcoins, which refers collectively to smaller coins other than bitcoin, continued Tuesday, led by EtherETHUSD, -11.28% the second biggest digital currency, which is down 12.1% at $253.12. Charles Hayter, co-founder of CryptoCompare, said the Ether underperformance could be the result of poor cash management from ICOs, which is resulting in token selling to free up cash.

Elsewhere, Bitcoin CashBCHUSD, -9.55%is trading lower by 10% at $479.90, LitecoinLTCUSD, -9.14% has lost 8.6% to $51.46 and Ripple’s XRPXRPUSD, -8.41% is down 7.6% at 26 cents.

The slumping altcoin performance pushed up bitcoin’s share of the overall crypto market cap to a new 2018 high of 54.2%, according to data from CoinMarketCap.

Bitcoin futures are looking at potential back-to-back losing sessions. The Cboe Global Markets Inc.’s August contractXBTQ8, -4.01% is down 3.4% at $6,030 and the CME Group Inc.’s August contractBTCQ8, -3.85% is lower by 3.2% at $6,030.

Providing critical information for the U.S. trading day. Subscribe to MarketWatch's free Need to Know newsletter. Sign up here.

Source: Read Full Article