In Brief

Bitcoin price: why has the cryptocurrency’s value nosedived?

Some analysts are predicting a bull run later this year

Bitcoin prices nosedived once again over the weekend following a month of gains, stalling the cryptocurrency’s recovery.

Values had risen from a low of $3,400 (£2,600) per coin on 8 February to Friday morning’s peak price of $4,190 (£2,005), according to ranking site CoinMarketCap

But the virtual currency’s values plummeted suddenly on Friday afternoon, with about $400 wiped off the price of each bitcoin in the space of an hour, the website reports. As of 9am UK time today, the price sat at about $3,830 (£2,930).

Bitcoin rivals including Etherum and Ripple also saw declines of around 5% over the weekend, Forbes reports. 

Although the cause of the market’s sudden downturn was “not immediately apparent”, the drop may be the result of “traders and investors profit-taking and flooding the market with surplus digital tokens”, the business news site says.

The Daily Express notes that there is still a “widespread apathy in terms of open interest” around bitcoin, despite a boost to the market earlier this month when banking giant J.P. Morgan announced it was launching its own internal cryptocurrency. 

“There’s still a huge amount of uncertainty around cryptocurrencies, and that is being reflected in market movement,” the newspaper says. 

Despite the latest setbacks, some analysts are hopeful that the virtual coin will bounce back this year. 

As cryptocurrency news site CoinDesk points out, the current market trend is very similar to bitcoin’s fluctuating values in early 2015. Back then, bitcoin entered a bull run in October, and experts believe the virtual currency may follow the same path in late 2019.

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