Bitcoin plummeted 19% over the weekend, putting the digital currency on pace for its worst week since 2015, as volatility climbs following a record-setting surge in the price.
After hitting $3,000 on at the beginning of the week, the cryptocurrency retreated to as low as $2,076.16 in intraday trading. Other digital coins are also falling. The decline coincides with a slide in technology stocks that began after a report from Goldman Sachs Group warned that low volatility in the biggest tech stocks may be blinding investors to risks like cyclicality and regulation.
One of Goldman Sachs’s technical analysts, Sheba Jafari, sent out a note early this week saying bitcoin was poised for a reversal. Analysts at Morgan Stanley wrote in a report on Wednesday that bitcoin needs government acceptance and regulation in order to keep climbing.
A Senate bill that targets money laundering and terrorist financing has also drawn criticism this week from some bitcoin enthusiasts, who say the proposed legislation is draconian. The bill, which was introduced in May, includes a section that singles out digital currencies and prepaid access devices.
Many of bitcoin’s cousins, like ripple, NEM and monero, have also struggled in the last week, while the price of ethereum — the second-largest cryptocurrency — has increased 20 percent as investors speculate whether it can nab the top spot.
The weakness in bitcoin’s price also began after digital currency exchange Coinbase experienced an outage Monday due to high trading volume. The interruption followed a slew of recent performance issues that have frustrated users. The exchange said on its website that it’s investigating issues with load times, and customers “may be unable to load or log in to the website during this time.”