The bitcoin price crossed another psychologically-significant milestone on Monday, but, unlike the last time it hit this mark, the bulls are no longer cheering.
Earlier today, at approximately 16:30 UTC, the bitcoin price fell below $5,000 for the first time in 2018. On Coinbase, BTC/USD fell to $4,950 before bouncing back above the $5,000 threshold, taking the flagship cryptocurrency to a 13-month low and reducing its market cap to a present value of just $89 billion.
It’s unclear what precisely is driving the sell-off, though analysts have speculated that it is a combination of uncertainty surrounding the recent Bitcoin Cash hard fork mixed with bearish technical factors.
When the bitcoin price hit the $5,000 mark for the first time last year, it triggered a massive sell-off as crypto traders took profits ahead of the crypto market’s parabolic Q4 run-up. Investors can only hope that, conversely, today’s foray back below that level will trigger a similar correction to the upside.
Analysts remain divided on whether and when that will occur. Mohamed El-Erian, chief economist at Allianz, said earlier this year that he expected bitcoin to level out near $5,000, a prediction at which crypto bulls scoffed when he first made it in June.
Crypto technical analyst Willy Woo, however, has forecast that the bitcoin price decline will likely continue into the second quarter of 2019 before the market turns a corner and begins the long journey back to its all-time high.
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