Bitcoin declined sharply today, losing close to 8% in less than two hours.
The world’s most prominent cryptocurrency fell to as little as $12,138.37 shortly after 11:00 EDT, a roughly 7.9% drop from its intra-day high of $13,175.69 reached at roughly 09:30 EDT, CoinDesk data shows.
The digital currency then extended these losses, trading at $12,062.47 shortly after 1:30 EDT, additional CoinDesk figures reveal.
When explaining these latest fluctuations, analysts pointed to profit taking, claiming that variables such as leverage amplified the digital asset’s losses.
[Ed note: Investing in cryptocoins or tokens is highly speculative and the market is largely unregulated. Anyone considering it should be prepared to lose their entire investment.]
“The market has risen a lot,” emphasized Charles Hayter, cofounder and CEO of digital currency data platform CryptoCompare.
As a result, “people are jumping in to take profits,” he stated.
“Bitcoin has had a hard time maintaining buying support above $13,000 per coin during the recent rally,” noted John Todaro, director of digital currency research for TradeBlock.
“Each time we get above that level, we have hit elevated stretches of volatility,” he emphasized.
“This most recent time was no different, as some significant selling pressure brought prices back down quite quickly.”
Todaro pointed out that several factors could have amplified the cryptocurrency’s sharp decline.
“The accelerated selling that drove prices down that quickly could be affected by the use of leverage as well as automated trading, which have the effect of compounding moves both up and down,” he noted.
Joe DiPasquale, CEO of cryptocurrency fund of hedge funds BitBull Capital, spoke to broader market forces when explaining bitcoin’s recent price gyrations.
“The volatility of late is a result of factors like leverage, but it is also important to note that retail investors and the general public are still not back in the market, and any move up in their absence will be followed by sharp pullbacks due to lack of sufficient momentum.”
Recently, analysts have been emphasizing rising institutional interest when explaining bitcoin’s sharp price gains.
This contrasts with the prior bull run of 2017 and 2018, when the enthusiasm of retail investors was cited for creating astronomical gains in the prices of digital currencies.
If retail investors come back in droves, it could lead to substantial gains and fresh, all-time highs.
Disclosure: I own some bitcoin, bitcoin cash, litecoin, ether and EOS.