Bitcoin has fallen more than $US1000 in a day and Ethereum is at a one-year low
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Bitcoin is getting smoked, as significant price volatility remains in cryptocurrency markets during Asian trade.
The latest slide started on Thursday when prices slumped below $US7,000 from an overnight high of almost $US7,400.
In Asian trade, prices fell by another $US550.
Bitcoin hit a low of $US6,313 before recovering slightly to $US6,436 by 7am AEST Friday — a fall of more than $US1,000 from yesterday.
Meanwhile Ethereum — the world’s second-biggest cryptocurrency — has also been caught in the latest crypto sell-off.
Ethereum has fallen to its lowest level in a year — and was down 25 per cent in the 24 hours to 6.30pm AEST Thursday.
It hit a low of $US213 on Friday morning — the lowest level since August 2017. It was at $US225 at 7am AEST Friday.
Moves in Ether tokens can have a significant bearing on crypto markets, given the Ethereum blockchain is the platform of choice for the majority of new initial coin offerings.
In line with Ethereum’s latest fall, hundreds of alt-coins on the website coinmarketcap.com have posted declines of around 20 per cent over the last 24 hours.
The initial catalyst was unclear, although the selloff was exacerbated after Business Insider reported that Goldman Sachs had scrapped plans for a crypto trading desk.
A number of analysts have also pointed to reports that online exchange ShapeShift — which previously allowed peer-to-peer anonymous trading — will now require traders to register for membership.
From a techncial standpoint, trader Peter Brandt said on Twitter that the $US5,750 to $US5,900 range still represents key support for Bitcoin, and prices would need to break below $US5,600 before a substantial move lower.
Bitcoin is now trading at its lowest level since mid-August, prior to an usual spike when a major crypto trading exchange closed for maintenance.
Elsewhere, Ethereum prices briefly fell to their lowest level of 2018, and a short time ago were holding slightly above $US200.
The world’s second-biggest cryptocurrency has now lost more than 80 per cent from a high of almost $US1,400 in December.