Bitcoin (BTC) and crypto markets are in free fall again

It isn’t just the Australian share market that is melting down during trade on Friday. The crypto market is in free fall again with sizeable declines being seen across the board.

This has taken the entire value of the cryptocurrency market down to US$321.8 billion according to Coin Market Cap. Which means that since this time yesterday the market is down 8.6% from US$352.2 billion.

In the past cryptocurrencies like bitcoin (BTC) had become popular alternatives to gold as a safe-haven asset in risk off events, but this certainly isn’t the case anymore.

At the time of writing the BTC price is down 7% over the last 24 hours to US$8,431.50 per coin. This has reduced its market capitalisation to US$142.8 billion.

Speculation that popular crypto exchange Binance could be kicked out of Japan for not operating with a licence appears to have been the catalyst for this recent decline. Though, that speculation has been refuted by Binance itself.

The exchange’s founder, Zhao Changpeng, told Bloomberg that Binance has been working towards acquiring a license in Japan and that it is “engaged in constructive dialogue” with regulators and has “not received any mandates.”

What about the altcoins?

Things have arguably been worse for the altcoins, unfortunately.

At the time of writing the ethereum (ETH) price has fallen over 10% since this time yesterday to US$515.60 per token, reducing the second-largest cryptocurrency’s market capitalisation to US$50.7 billion.

Elsewhere, the Ripple (XRP) price is down 9.5% during this time to 63 U.S. cents, Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is off 8.5% to US$966.80, Litecoin (LTC) is down 7.5% to US$158.48, and Cardano (ADA) has fallen 14% to 18.8 U.S. cents. The latter has been on an especially bullish run this week and is likely to be suffering from extensive profit-taking today.

All eyes will be on the market this weekend to see if it can find some support and at least hold onto some of this week’s gains.

Investors might be best avoiding the crypto market at the a focusing on other investment opportunities like these three growth shares.

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