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Cryptocurrency markets are melting down

It has gone from bad to worse for cryptocurrency traders on Friday with the sell-off accelerating during Asian afternoon trade.

At the time of writing the total market is down 13.5% over the last 24 hours to US$344.9 billion according to Coin Market Cap.

What happened?

Crypto markets have come under significant pressure over the last few days after a series of negative events weighed heavily on trader sentiment.

These include news that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has stated that exchanges that offer trading of “digital assets that are securities” would have to register with the regulator.

Elsewhere, regulators in Japan have started to crack down on exchanges in the country. Reuters reported on Thursday that authorities have suspended the Bit Station and FSHO exchanges in the country.

In addition to this, news of compromised accounts on the Binance exchange, lower trading volumes, and lower Google searches for “bitcoin” have weighed on the market.

All in all, this has culminated in significant declines in crypto markets today. Here’s the state of play on Friday afternoon:

The bitcoin (BTC) price is down 13% over the last 24 hours to US$8,577.06. This has left the world’s largest cryptocurrency with a market capitalisation of US$145 billion.

Ethereum (ETH) is also down 13% since this time yesterday and is fetching a lowly US$651.99 per token, reducing its market capitalisation to US$63.9 billion.

The Ripple (XRP) price has fallen 12% over the last 24 hours to 76 U.S. cents. Ripple’s XRP now has a market capitalisation of US$29.7 billion.

The Bitcoin Cash (BCH) price is off almost 13% to US$949.67 per token, leaving the bitcoin spin-off with a market capitalisation of US$16.2 billion.

The Litecoin (LTC) price is 11% lower than this time yesterday to US$162.04. This has reduced the popular altcoin’s market capitalisation to US$9 billion.

Finally, some of the worst performers have been outside the top five with the likes of NEO (NEO) and Cardano (ADA) each down over 16% during the last 24 hours.

Where cryptocurrency markets go next, only time will tell. But I’ll be watching on with interest this weekend to see how traders respond to this latest setback.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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