Bitcoin (BTC/USD) has just broken to its lowest price since April 14, falling to $214 on Bitstamp.
It had recovered into the mid-$230s after last week’s sharp drop to $220, and had spent much of the past 6 hours challenging this low. Once broken, bitcoin promptly shed another 3%, sending it clear of another low set in May. With the latest line of defense broken, additional losses are likely, as has been the trend during the most recent support breaches. The $200 mark, a reminder of the dark trading days in early January, is once again within striking distance.
This time around, there is no flash crash to blame, although data coming out of Bitfinex again points to some irregular behavior. Technical selling, coupled with waning confidence in Bitcoin’s scalability, are more likely causes.
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Seasonal factors may also be at play. August was one of the most volatile periods for cryptocurrencies in 2014.
Also worth noting is the ongoing carnage in the global stock and commodity markets, fueled by fears over China’s pace of growth. China’s stock market fell the most since prior to the 2008-09 financial crisis. London’s FTSE index extended a losing streak not seen since 2003. North American indices are set to open sharply lower, officially bringing them into correction territory. Dow Jones futures off by over 600 points.
The price of bitcoin does not always correlate with the global stock markets, but under extreme conditions, investors may be anxious to shed their most risky assets.
Litecoin (LTC/BTC) briefly fell below $3 for the first time since June, hitting $2.89 on BTC-e. The losses outpaced those of bitcoin, another sign of volatile times. The LTC/BTC rate fell to 0.014.