‘There’s Panic’: Bitcoin Plunge Sees $33 Billion Disappear Into Thin Air

When last we checked in on Bitcoin, it had plunged some $1,400 from the highs hit after SegWit2x called off the hard fork.

Well, things have gotten worse since then – and materially so. Specifically, Bitcoin had fallen $2,300 from its Wednesday peak at one point on Sunday:

Bitcoin

That is a horrendous ~30% tumble and because this is Bitcoin, that’s only the third-worst drawdown it’s had this year:

Bitcoin2

The most recent bout of volatile madness wiped more than $30 billion from Bitcoin’s “market cap”:

Bitcoin3

“The volatile price-action isn’t new, but the amounts at stake are growing all the time,” Bloomberg’s Mark Cudmore wrote overnight. “The wealth impact of Bitcoin moves is soon going to become large enough to have the potential to spill over to other markets,” Cudmore goes on to warn, adding that “in January this year, you may not have batted an eye-lid at a 30% drop in your Bitcoin investment from $10,000 to $7,000, but if you held your investment until now, you may think differently about seeing your investment fall 30% from $80,000 to $56,000.”

Indeed. And then there’s bitcoin cash, Bitcoin’s bastard cousin with a larger block size. And you know what they say: when the going gets tough, the guy with the larger “block size” usually prevails, which is why this thing quadrupled in “value” (whatever that means in this context) from Friday to Sunday, only to completely collapse on itself by Monday:

BitcoinCash

For the punchline to all of this, let’s go to one Mike Kayamori, head of Tokyo-based Quoine, the world’s second most-active bitcoin exchange over the past day who spoke to Bloomberg:

Supporters of bitcoin’s technology upgrade are now switching support to bitcoin cash. There’s a panic about what’s happening. People shouldn’t panic. Just hold on to both coins until we see how it plays out.

Yes, “people should just hold on to both coins until we see how it plays out.” That is a solid investment strategy. When given the choice between two absurdly volatile “assets” that may not even be assets at all, the best idea is always “to just hold on to both” and “see how it plays out.”

For now, we’ll leave you with a subtle reminder from UBS about what “money” actually is:

The second role of a currency is to act as a store of value. People need to believe that what their cash can buy today, their cash will buy tomorrow. In order to maintain the store of value, central banks take a lot of trouble to keep a currency’s value roughly stable (i.e. control inflation). This is done by making sure that the supply of currency generally matches the demand for a currency. If the balance is maintained the currency will broadly keep its store of value. An individual crypto-currency cannot achieve this balance, which explains their volatility. Crypto-currency supply cannot go downA fall in demand for a specific crypto-currency will therefore cause that crypto-currency’s value to collapse as supply outstrips demand. For context, Bitcoin’s collapse in value in early September was worse than the collapse in the value of the German mark at the start of the Weimar hyperinflation.

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