GUANGZHOU, China — Bitcoin and other digital coins tanked on Monday, wiping some $150 billion off the cryptocurrency market.
The market capitalization or value of the cryptocurrency market was $931 billion around 6:00 p.m. ET, down from $1.08 trillion a day earlier, according to Coinmarketcap.
Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency, fell over 10% from a day earlier to $34,200, according to Coin Metrics data. It earlier sank to an intraday low of $30,863. Ether, the second-largest cryptocurrency, was down 15% to $1,060. It briefly tumbled below $1,000, hitting an intraday low of $945.
The sell-off in cryptocurrencies comes after a huge rally and perhaps signals some profit-taking from investors. Bitcoin is still up over 300% in the last 12 months and last week hit an all-time high just below $42,000.
“The correction we saw was expected as we believe the BTC price surge recently from under $20,000 to $40,000 in the past four weeks will induce sell pressure,” said Simons Chen, executive director of investment and trading at cryptocurrency financial services firm Babel Finance.
The $40,000 mark could have been a trigger for profit-taking, Chen said.
Bitcoin’s resurgence has been attributed to a number of factors including more buying from large institutional investors.
And it has also been likened to “digital gold,” a potential safe-haven asset and a hedge against inflation. In a recent research note, JPMorgan said bitcoin could hit $146,000 in the long term as it competes with gold as an “alternative” currency. The investment bank’s strategists noted, however, that bitcoin