Nearly $ 170 billion wiped out of the cryptocurrency market

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A visual representation of the Bitcoin cryptocurrency on November 20, 2018 in London, England.
Jordan Mansfield | Actualités Getty Images | Getty Images
GUANGZHOU, China – Bitcoin and other digital coins were emptied on Monday, wiping out some $ 170 billion from the entire cryptocurrency market.
The market cap or market value of the cryptocurrency was $ 959.53 billion as of 12:10 p.m. Singapore time, up from $ 1.1 trillion a day earlier, according to Coinmarketcap.

Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency, fell more than 11% from the previous day to $ 35,828.06, around 12:15 p.m. Singapore time. Ether, the second largest, fell about 15% to $ 1,126.72.

The sell-off of cryptocurrencies comes after a huge rally and may be signaling investor profit-taking. Bitcoin is still up over 340% over the past 12 months, and last week hit an all-time high of just below $ 42,000.

The resurgence of Bitcoin has been attributed to a number of factors, including an increase in purchases from large institutional investors.

And it has also been equated with “digital gold,” a potential safe haven and hedge against inflation. In a recent research note, JPMorgan said bitcoin could hit $ 146,000 in the long run as it competes with gold as an “alternative” currency. Investment bank strategists noted, however, that bitcoin would need to become significantly less volatile to reach this price. Bitcoin is known for its wild price swings.

But some bitcoin critics – such as David Rosenberg, economist and strategist at Rosenberg Research – have called bitcoin a bubble.

The long-term uptrend around bitcoin remains however. Social Capital’s Chamath Palihapitiya said last week that bitcoin could exceed $ 100,000.

“It’s probably going to $ 100,000, then $ 150,000, then $ 200,000,” Palihapitiya told CNBC’s “Halftime Report”. “In what period? I do not know. [Maybe] five or 10 years, but it’s okay there. ”

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