The Bitcoin digital currency has rallied hard for the past month and produced billionaires from the savvy Winklevoss twins, who hopped into the Bitcoin scene early, and North Korea is thought to be squirreling away a fortune from the resulting mania. Of course, many people wondered if Bitcoin was a bubble that would burst, and it seems that the cryptocurrency’s rally (and that of several of its contemporaries) may be coming to an end. Temporarily, perhaps? Well, Bitcoin has seen a stunning 25% plunge over the course of 24 hours.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the past week has seen the cryptocurrency lose $121 million from its total market value, a trend that has affected several other cryptocurrencies as Christmas approaches. That correlation may mean nothing, but Bitcoin’s multiple rapid fluctuations have taken trading value as high as $20,000 one week ago after beginning December at $10,000. Over several days, the digital currency has since fallen to the $12,000 – $13,000 range. One investor, Jani Hartikainen, told the WSJ that he dumped it all:
After receiving that message, Mr. Hartikainen, who said he first bought bitcoin in March, said that he sold almost all of his position.
“There’s been a lot of talk about how bitcoin is in a bubble,” he said, adding that he had been worried about how sharply bitcoin had rallied recently. “If I keep holding this, how long is it going to keep going up in value, and if it starts crashing, am I going to have enough time to get out of it?”
Likewise, other digital currencies have also seen steep drops over the past day. Ether (second-to-Bitcoin in market value) has plunged 26% while litecoin has lost 32%. The trend is a widespread one, as this chart indicates.
Of course, there’s every possibility that all of these cryptocurrencies could soon soar again, since the WSJ mentions that some investors have doubled down and purchased more Bitcoin stock after the price plunged. Yet perhaps the more pressing question is this — will the iced tea brand that tripled its stock price by hopping on the crypto-craze bandwagon rebrand again?