Cryptos: Bitcoin tumbles 10% to hit lowest level in nearly 4 weeks

Cryptocurrency prices are trading sharply lower on Thursday, with most major coins showing double-digit declines.

In Thursday trading a single bitcoin,

BTCUSD, -0.37%

the largest cryptocurrency, was fetching $3,637.10, down 9.2% since Wednesday’s level at 5 p.m. Eastern Time on the Kraken crypto exchange. The cryptocurrency traded to an intraday low at $3,577, its lowest level since Dec. 18.

The broad-based selloff has erased more than $15 billion off the total value of all digital currencies, which currency stands at $122.6 billion, according to data from CoinMarketCap.

“After a positive start to 2019 with prices drifting gently higher, selling returned with a bang to the cryptocurrency space, backed by a sizable pickup in volume. Double-digit losses were recorded in some coins, while Ripple (the XRP coin) overtook Ether to become the second-largest token by market capitalization,” wrote Nick Cawley, analyst at Daily FX.

“The selling was accompanied by heavy turnover — just under $20 billion — normally a bearish sign, especially after the quiet market conditions this week to date. The cryptocurrency market as a whole lost just under $9 billion in one hour.”

Read: Winklevoss twins’ Gemini cryptocurrency ad campaign hopes to ignite the ‘people’s movement’

Altcoins, cryptocurrencies other than bitcoin, are showing significant losses on Thursday. Ether has lost 14.9% to $127.90, Litecoin

LTCUSD, -0.99%

was off 14.7% to $33.42, Bitcoin Cash

BCHUSD, -0.37%

was off 15.3% at $133.90 and XRP,

XRPUSD, -0.61%

was trading 10% lower at 33 cents.

Bitcoin futures finished Thursday in the red. The Cboe Global Markets February contract

XBTG9, -10.04%

XBTG9, -10.04%

XBTG9, -10.04%

closed the session down 9.9% at $3,590, and the CME Group February contract

BTCG9, -9.67%

ended trading down 9.7% at $3,595.

Read: This chart pattern spells renewed danger for bitcoin, analyst says

Providing critical information for the U.S. trading day. Subscribe to MarketWatch’s free Need to Know newsletter. Sign up here.

Aaron Hankin is a MarketWatch reporter in New York who covers cryptocurrency and financial markets.

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