CryptoWatch: Bitcoin slumps below $6,000, drags market cap below $200 billion

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Bitcoin is fast losing its shine, and the momentum of the down move risks causing widespread panic, says at least one analyst.

After holding at $6,000 over the weekend, that support line for the No.1 digital currency finally gave way late Monday, sending it to $5,900.38. That’s the lowest level since June 29 and inches away from making a new low for 2018.

The August slump has shed more than $70 billion of the total value of cryptocurrencies, which has reached a nine-month low of $191 billion.

“We are seeing fear-based selling pushing the market lower at the moment,” said Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at Think Markets U.K. “All that’s changed is the delay in the SEC decision,” referring to the Securities and Exchange Commission delaying its ruling on the VanEck-Solid X bitcoin ETF application.

Moreover, Aslam said more large institutions are dipping their toe in at these levels. “Large players are definitely getting more active at these levels,” Aslam continued, adding he heard an unnamed German bank was considering a significant purchase of bitcoin.

In Tuesday trading, a single bitcoin BTCUSD, -3.80% was last worth $6,033.23, down 4.3% since Monday 5 p.m. Eastern Time on the Kraken exchange and less that $300 from making a new low for 2018.

Read: Barry Silbert says bitcoin put in its 2018 low, but 99% of cryptos are worthless

Ether drags altcoins lower

The underperformance of altcoins, which refers collectively to smaller coins other than bitcoin, continued Tuesday, led by Ether ETHUSD, -9.76%  the second biggest digital currency, which is down 12.1% at $253.12. Charles Hayter, co-founder of CryptoCompare, said the Ether underperformance could be the result of poor cash management from ICOs, which is resulting in token selling to free up cash.

Elsewhere, Bitcoin Cash BCHUSD, -7.51% is trading lower by 10% at $479.90, Litecoin LTCUSD, -7.60% has lost 8.6% to $51.46 and Ripple’s XRP XRPUSD, -7.82% is down 7.6% at 26 cents.

The slumping altcoin performance pushed up bitcoin’s share of the overall crypto market cap to a new 2018 high of 54.2%, according to data from CoinMarketCap.

Bitcoin futures are looking at potential back-to-back losing sessions. The Cboe Global Markets Inc.’s August contract XBTQ8, -3.45% is down 3.4% at $6,030 and the CME Group Inc.’s August contract BTCQ8, -3.29% is lower by 3.2% at $6,030.

Read: Fed’s Powell says cryptocurrencies have no intrinsic value

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