In Depth

Bitcoin price: bull run continues despite Friday fall

Cryptocurrency’s movement this year mirrors that of its record-breaking performance in 2017

The bitcoin bull run is back on course after a temporary crash on Friday that wiped out the cryptocurrency’s gains over the past seven days. 

Bitcoin values were recorded at just under $7,000 (£5,500) per coin on Monday morning before rocketing up to $7,920 (£6,220) on Thursday evening, according to the ranking site CoinMarketCap

The following day, values tumbled by nearly $1,000 (£785) in the space of an hour, bringing prices “back down to the $7,000 level it shot past earlier this week”, The Independent says. 

Thankfully for bitcoin investors, the dive in values appears to be only temporary. Prices fluctuated around the $7,300 mark for most of Friday and Saturday, before gradually climbing on Sunday. 

Today’s price, as of 1:15pm UK time, sits at $7,900 (£6,200), notes CoinMarketCap. 

Bitcoin’s strong start to the year is almost a mirror image of its movement in 2017, says the cryptocurrency news site CCN

The virtual coin started 2017 with a 40% quarterly gain, followed by an 80% rise in the second quarter, the news site says. Bitcoin peaked at nearly $20,000 (£15,700) per coin in December 2017, a rise of 219% in the final quarter alone. 

Although the digital currency started this year in similar fashion, in the wake of continual losses last year bitcoin still has a long way to go before it can match its record highs of December 2017. 

What caused Friday’s fall?

According to Forbes, bitcoin values took a tumble because of a large sell-off on the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp exchange that prompted other investors to sell their digital assets in a panic. 

The sell-offs could also have been triggered automatically. Investors can set their accounts on cryptocurrency exchanges to automatically sell their bitcoins when values fall below a specified threshold.

If a large sale were to take place on an exchange, causing values to drop considerably, a chain reaction of automated sell-offs could then be sparked. 

What about bitcoin’s rivals?

Bitcoin isn’t the only virtual currency on a bull run. 

Ethereum, which is the second largest cryptocurrency behind bitcoin, has risen from $188 (£144) per coin on the morning of 13 May to today’s price of $243 (£191), CoinMarketCap reports. 

Ripple, which is ranked third, has also seen a valuation boost. Prices for the banking-focused digital coin sit at about $0.38 (£0.30) today, a step above its valuation of $0.31 (£0.24) on 13 May, the ranking site adds.

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