Bitcoin, rival cryptocurrencies tumble as investors retreat to less risky investments
Portland, Ore.—Bitcoin tumbled for a fifth day, dropping below $7,000 (U.S.) for the first time since November and leading other digital tokens lower, as Lloyds Banking Group Plc joined a growing number of big credit-card issuers halting purchases of cryptocurrencies on their cards.
The biggest digital currency sank as much as 22 per cent to $6,702 in New York, according to composite Bloomberg pricing. It has erased almost 65 per cent of its value from a record high $19,511 in December. Rival coins also retreated on Monday, with Ripple losing as much as 19 per cent and Ethereum and Litecoin also weaker.
“Although no fundamental change triggered this crash, the parabolic growth this market has experienced had to slow down at some point,” wrote Lucas Nuzzi, a senior analyst at Digital Asset Research, in an email. “All that it took this time was a large lot of sell orders.”
Bitcoin’s longest run of losses since Christmas Day has coincided with investors exiting risky assets across the board, with stocks retreating globally. Bitcoin so far seems to be struggling to live up to any comparison with gold as a store of value, which is an argument made by some of its supporters. Bullion edged higher as other safe havens — the yen, Swiss franc and European bonds — also gained.