Cryptocurrencies were hammered Wednesday as the 2018 bursting of the bitcoin bubble took another leg down. Bitcoin traded below $6,000 to new 52-week lows on uncertainty related to the upcoming Bitcoin Cash hard fork.
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The Malta-based OKEx cryptocurrency exchange halted trading for BCH1116 weekly, BCH1123 bi-weekly, and BCH1228 quarterly futures contracts on Wednesday, citing extreme volatility ahead of the Bitcoin Cash hard fork scheduled for Thursday.
Bitcoin Cash is expected to fork into at least two different currencies, but uncertainty surrounding the outcome of the fork is creating uncertainty in the futures market. Bitcoin ABC (BCHABC) is the original version of Bitcoin Cash and is expected to continue trading under the ticker BCH. An alternate version of the currency, Bitcoin SV (BCHSV) is also expected to begin trading on Wednesday.
“Due to the upcoming hard fork, strong volatility is observed in the BCH spot and futures markets. OKEx expects an even greater volatility during the hard fork that may cause large-scale impacts, such as cascade liquidation,” OKEx said in a statement.
Data from the pre-fork futures market shows that the valuation gap between BCHABC and BCHSV has shrunk from several hundred dollars to just $43 as of Wednesday morning.
The Bitcoin Investment Trust (OTC: GBTC) was down 7.7 percent to new 52-week lows.
The chaos surrounding the Bitcoin Cash fork appears to have been the catalyst for a technical breakdown in most major cryptocurrencies:
- Bitcoin was down 8.5 percent, falling under the $6,000 level, and is now down 56.8 percent in 2018.
- Ethereum was down 9.8 percent and is now down 74.8 percent in 2018.
- Ripple is down 8.6 percent and is now down 76.9 percent in 2018.
- Bitcoin Cash was down 11.9 percent and is now down 64.3 percent in 2018.
- Stellar was down 3.3 percent and is now down 69.6 percent in 2018.
Bitcoin Cash Fork Drives Crypto Volatility
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