The global cryptocurrency market is in turmoil today, with investors counting their losses after almost all of the top 100 virtual coins plummeted by double-figure percentages.

As is often the case in the event of a widespread market plunge, the cryptocurrency at the forefront is Bitcoin. In a stunning pattern – that may or may not be random – the month of January has marked the popular virtual coin’s yearly low price for three consecutive years; logging $171.51 (USD) in 2015 (January 14), $354.91 in 2016 (January 16), and $755.76 in 2017 (January 12).

In the early stages of 2018, $BTC has today plummeted to an intra-year low of $11,442. This represents a 19% decline from $14,112, the price of Bitcoin as it entered the new year. Illustrating the sheer amount of dollars that have flowed from the digital currency, the market cap of Bitcoin at today’s lowly price was $192.3b. Unbelievably, this comes after a shedding over $100b off its value in just ten days ($294b; January 7); all data from CoinMarketCap.

Unsurprisingly, the carnage is even worse for the altcoins, for their success depends on a crypto revolution, which has always been set to be pioneered by Bitcoin. Indeed, the dozens of digital coins which in recent weeks have sky-rocketed in value, have all seen intra-day losses that mostly range from 20%-35%; including Ethereum (ETH), Ripple (XRP), and Cardano (ADA).

Investors rejoiced on January 7 when the market cap of all cryptocurrencies surged over $830b. This represented a near-doubling from just prior to Christmas ($422b; January 22). Since then, the value of all coins dipped to today’s intra-day low of $537b; 35% down from the historical breakthrough just 10 days ago.

Whilst there is plenty not to like, the absence of any major price-sensitive event is arguably the most tortuous aspect for investors to sit with, for it has left them to wildly speculate at just what has triggered the gigantic sell-off. However, such an argument could be made for the unprecedented surge in prices over the new year that weren’t really backed by any substantial milestones.

Some investors will see the dire state of the market as a rare opportunity to add to their existing positions at heavily discounted prices. For those more conservative, the mass sell-off represents a much-needed correction given the price behaviour of recent weeks.

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