Bitcoin is in the middle of an astounding price drop, reaching prices as low as $3,520 in recent days and wiping out all gains from coins purchased this year. As of time of writing, the price was hovering around $3,900, a roughly 40 percent drop from two weeks ago. The result is the worst price drop since April 2013, refreshing old doubts about the soundness of bitcoin as an investment vehicle.
The number 1 ranked cryptocurrency currently holds a total market cap value worth $67.25 billion after slipping below the $100 billion mark this week for the first time in over a year and a half.
The 67 month old project is now trading at a value that is 80% lower than the all-time high price.
The price drop is likely the result of a series of forks this year, which produced parallel currencies like Bitcoin Cash. A planned fork of Bitcoin Cash took place on November 15th, and was accompanied by considerable angst from traders ahead of time.
To add salt to injury between 600,000 and 800,000 bitcoin miners have shut down since mid-November amid declines in price and hashrate across the network, according to the third-largest mining pool.
In an interview with CoinDesk, Mao Shixing, founder of F2pool, said his firm’s estimate takes into account the total network hashrate drop and the average hash power of older mining machines that are having a hard time generating profits.
Mao explained most miners that may have halted operations are likely those using older models, such as the Antminer T9+ made by Bitmain and AvalonMiner 741 by Canaan Creative. These miners have an average hash power of around 10 TH/s and are estimated to be losing money right now, according to F2pool’s miner revenue index.
The crash has now entered the same league as Bitcoin’s 93 percent plunge in 2011 and its 84 percent rout from 2013 to 2015, during the collapse of Tokyo-based crypto exchange Mt. Gox.