CRYPTOCURRENCIES Bitcoin crashes far below R52 000


The great crypto crash of 2018 plunged deeper over the weekend.

Bitcoin slid another 4.5% to R52 000 at midnight on Sunday in New York, according to Bitstamp. It recouped most of the losses by 7.50am but remains in the red. It’s lost 33% in the past week and 75% this year.

Cryptocurrencies just had their worst week ever, and bitcoin is 82% below its high of R300 000 almost a year ago. After an epic rally last year that exceeded many of history’s most notorious bubbles, digital currencies have become mired in an almost $700-billion rout that shows few signs of abating. Many of the concerns that sparked the 2018 retreat — including increased regulatory scrutiny, community infighting and exchange snafus — have only intensified this week.

Even after the steep losses, Oanda’s Stephen Innes has yet to see strong evidence of a capitulation that would signal a market bottom.

“There’s still a lot of people in this game,” Innes, head of trading for Asia Pacific at Oanda, said by phone from Singapore last week. “If we start to see a run down toward $3 000, this thing is going to be a monster. People will be running for the exits.”

Innes said his base-case forecast is for bitcoin, which turns 10 this year, to trade between $3 500 and $6 500 in the short term, with the potential to fall to $2 500 by January.

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