Nerves creep in to crypto markets as weekend looms

Almost every cryptocurrency felt the shockwave with huge tumbles across the board in a near repeat of last weekend’s collapse which almost saw a bitcoin worth $10,500 as it reached a 2020 peak on Friday night before dumping to $9,600 by Sunday afternoon. The wild movement has led some observers to believe it is the fear of volatile weekend trading which could be behind yesterday’s crashing market. While bitcoin did claw some ground back, it has been a less-than-convincing recovery.

The world’s largest crypto looks pretty content to stay within the safety of a tight $9,600 to $9,700 margin while the popular alternative cryptocurrencies attempt some form of return. 

Ethereum (ETH), for instance, had been looking strong as it made a claim for $290, but today it was holding back below a familiar $260 while Litecoin (LTC) and Ripple’s XRP were forming similar patterns.

Bitcoin Cash (BCH) has, perhaps, been hardest hit by the recent storm. 

At about $375 it’s trading almost $100 below where it was this time last week – a position which demonstrates a degree of edginess as the weekend closes in.

Given the erratic markets over the last 10 days, the end-of-week charts are unsurprising to crypto analyst Alex Thomas.

“You can sense a definite nervousness which is clearly a throwback to last weekend’s awful wash-out for bitcoin and the leading altcoins,” he said.

“These cyclical corrections occur with alarming regularity in an unstable market like cryptocurrency and will continue to do so as we approach the halving in May.”

Bitcoin’s third block reward halving in 11 years is set to occur in mid-May. 

The value of a mined “block” will be cut in half from 12.5 BTC to 6.25 BTC. 

On the previous two halving events, cryptocurrencies have experienced a sudden price spike.

“I’m pretty sure most people are expecting the value of bitcoin to shoot up knowing we have the halving coming up, but we’re a good three months away from it which means there’s plenty of time for the market to be turned into whatever the big players want it to be,” added Mr Thomas.

“This unregulated world is still the Wild West, and I doubt we’ll see a solid reaction in price to that halving until much nearer the time.”

• Coin Rivet is a website bringing news, information, analysis, opinion and insight from the fast-moving blockchain world.

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