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Crypto update: Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and Ripple (XRP) crushed

It certainly was another night to forget for cryptocurrency traders.

The market has fallen sharply overnight with heavy declines being seen across the board. This has reduced the total value of the crypto market to US$398.5 billion according to Coin Market Cap.

That means almost US$75 billion has been wiped off the value of the market in 48 hours. To put that into perspective, that’s just a touch less than the market capitalisation of Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC).

Here’s the state of play this morning:

The bitcoin (BTC) price has fallen 8% over the last 24 hours to US$9,880.13 per coin. This has reduced the world’s largest cryptocurrency’s market capitalisation to US$167 billion.

Ethereum (ETH) has fallen almost 9% since this time yesterday and is now fetching US$742.64 per token. This leaves Ethereum with a market capitalisation of US$72.8 billion.

The Ripple (XRP) price has lost 9% of its value during the last 24 hours and is down to 85.1 U.S. cents. The third-largest cryptocurrency now has a market capitalisation of US$33.3 billion.

The Bitcoin Cash (BCH) price has also fallen by almost 9% since this time yesterday. Each BCH is now priced at US$1,086 per token, giving it a market capitalisation of US$18.5 billion.

Litecoin (LTC) has fallen 7% over the last 24 hours down to US$182.10. The popular altcoin’s market capitalisation has reduced to US$10.1 billion.

What happened?

There appears to be two catalysts for this decline. The first is rumours that cryptocurrency exchange Binance has been hacked.

However, this has been dismissed the exchange’s CEO, Changpeng Zhao.

He tweeted that: “All funds are safe. There were irregularities in trading activity, automatic alarms triggered. Some accounts may have been compromised by phishing from before. We are still investigating. All funds are safe.”

Another catalyst for the sell-off could have been news that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission will soon require digital asset exchanges to register with the agency. This appears to have traders concerned that tightening regulations could restrict future trading.

I suspect this could weigh heavily on market sentiment for a little while.

Crypto markets appear to be in turmoil at the moment which could it a good time to step back and invest in these explosive tech shares instead. I'm tipping them to provide better returns than bitcoin this year.

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