Volatility returned to the crypto markets today, with bitcoin (BTC/USD) prices plunging as much as 7.5% to $214 on BTC-e.Bitcoin is currently trading at $218.
Today’s prices are the lowest since early February when bitcoin touched $208. Another break of the psychologically-key $200 mark would likely trigger another round of volatility not seen since early January, when bitcoin fell into the $150s.
The drop transpired over a 12h period, making for the sharpest decline in nearly three weeks. Volume reached nearly 3,000 BTC/hour at the start of the plunge, when losses were steepest, but tapered off to below 1,000 BTC/hour towards the latter stages. The behavior would suggest that the latest sell-off may have been set off by oversized sell orders or early adopters dumping their holdings, although volume has been steadily rising again during the past few hours.
ACY Securities’ Sponsorship of Australian Turf Club Off to a Flying StartGo to article >>
Overall, bitcoin prices have shown relative stability following their early January slump, although with a few bumps along the way. But in April, they gradually gravitated back toward the low $230s, and in recent days, briefly pierced their short-term support level on a couple of occasions. This may have upset the prevailing equilibrium and ultimately spurred today’s sell-off.
Prices are now 15% below their 50-day moving average (MA), their biggest offset since early February.
Litecoin has plunged to its lowest levels since late January, falling as low as $1.31. The LTC/BTC rate has dipped below 0.0061, the lowest since mid-January when it breached 0.006. Litecoin’s losses have thus outpaced those of bitcoin, representing a return to more traditional behavior and more typical for unsettled periods.