In Brief

Bitcoin price: can the cryptocurrency bounce back before year ends?

Digital coin dips below $4,000 mark for the first time in 2018

Values in bitcoin and its rival cryptocurrencies sunk once again over the Black Friday weekend, bringing the market its lowest point since last September. 

Bitcoin prices dipped below $4,000 (£3,110) per coin on Saturday morning, before reaching a low of $3,500 (£2,730) on Sunday, according to ranking website CoinMarketCap. Values for the digital coin were at about $3,900 (£3,040) as of 9.30am UK time on Monday.

Rival coins Ethereum and Ripple also took a tumble over the weekend, with their values this morning sitting at about $114 (£89) and $0.37 (£0.29) per coin respectively. 

The market’s downturn over the past few days appears to be a continuation of the sell-off caused by the “hard fork” - a move whereby a cryptocurrency splits in two to form a new digital coin - in bitcoin’s sister virtual currency bitcoin cash two weeks ago, says Forbes

However, while cryptocurrencies seem to be stuck in a continuous downward spiral, some investors believe the market could bounce back if greater “regulatory oversight” were introduced, the news site adds. 

Herbert Sim, chief commercial officer at Singapore-based digital currency exchange Cryptology, told Forbes that “regulators need to put standards in place to separate the weeds from the roses in the cryptocurrency world” if the market is “to move forward and investor confidence to settle”.

“Having oversight of the cryptocurrency Wild West will legitimise, and subsequently stabilise the industry, which will allow it to reach the next step of maturity,” Sim said.

Can bitcoin bounce back next month?

Bitcoin has lost 80% of its value since peaking at nearly $20,000 (£15,590) in December 2017, which doesn’t bode well for the market. 

However, Mati Greenspan, a senior marketing analyst at cryptocurrency trading site eToro, told the Daily Express that “it’s really impossible to know” where the digital currency is headed - and that he is still hopes there might be a “Santa Claus rally” before the year is out. 

Pointing to the volatility of the market, he added: “[What] I’ve been saying from the beginning of the year, when people were asking for my end-year predictions, is that I can say with a 99% certainty bitcoin will be between $100 (£78) and $1m (£780m) on 31 December.”

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