The cryptocurrency market just hit another new low in 2018.
A broad selloff in digital currencies has pushed the value of the entire market below $200 billion for the first time this year, according to research site CoinMarketCap, erasing more than 70% of its worth seven months ago.
At $191 billion on Tuesday, the total market value of cryptocurrencies world-wide is now at its lowest since November. The market cap peaked at $814 billion in January.
The biggest cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ether have led the market lower. Bitcoin recently fell 5%, dropping back below $6,000 for the first time since late June and is now flirting with its lows for the year, according to CoinDesk. Bitcoin has fallen by nearly 70% since peaking near $20,000 in December.
Ether, the second biggest cryptocurrency by market value, tumbled 17% over the past 24 hours, falling below $300 for the first time since November. XRP, the currency offered by San Francisco startup Ripple, and Bitcoin Cash both dropped 15%. EOS fell 14%.
All but two of the top 100 cryptocurrencies by market value were in the red over the past 24 hours, according to CoinMarketCap.
Some analysts and investors believe broader market troubles are taking a toll on cryptocurrencies, including Turkey’s recent turmoil. The Turkish lira has fallen by more than 40% this year against the U.S. dollar, with much of the plunge occurring in the past week. That has rattled other emerging markets already under strain from rising U.S. interest rates and a rally in the greenback.
“The crypto markets falling may well be a side effect of the dollar strength right now,” says Mati Greenspan, senior market analyst at eToro, an online trading platform. “The buck is simply crushing everything in its path.”
Bitcoin’s latest drop marks a sharp turnaround for the world’s most popular digital currency, which recently enjoyed a brief resurgence. It neared $8,500 three weeks ago over optimism that the first bitcoin-based exchange-traded fund would eventually come to fruition. That hype dimmed somewhat after the Securities and Exchange Commission said last week that it would delay a decision on whether to allow the listing until September.
The steeper selloff in some of bitcoin’s rivals has allowed bitcoin to regain some of its dominance in the overall crypto market. Bitcoin now makes up 54% of the cryptocurrency market’s total market value, its highest since December and up from roughly one-third of the market earlier this year.
And despite the latest selloff, bitcoin remains up by more than 40% over the past 12 months and far higher than from where it was at the beginning of last year, when it was just under $1,000.
“There are several clues telling us the market may be bottoming here,” said Jon Cotton, chief strategist at BCB Group, a cryptocurrency prime brokerage in London. The fact that many other digital currencies have recently suffered worse selloffs could allow bitcoin to regain its market dominance and pull away from the pack, he added.
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