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Below US$4,000: Could a fork have sent the Bitcoin in a race to the bottom?

Cryptocurrency investors spent the weekend glued to their trading screens once again as prices continued to head lower across the board with the Bitcoin price falling under US$4,000 to US$3,657 in the last 12 hours.

It has rallied a little to sell for US$4,078 as at 10am AEST. However, it’s still down 28% over the past 7 days and around 80% since hitting highs close to US$20,000 in December 2017. In fact Bitcoin has been one of the best performing cryptos in 2018, compared to the terrible performance of some of its smaller peers.

Take a look at some of the returns for popular digital currencies over just the past 7 days, with figures according to financial news wire

  • The Ripple price is down 25% to US$0.382 in just 7 days
  • The Ethereum price is down 33% to US$118 in just 7 days
  • The Stellar Lumens price is down 35% to US$0.166 in just 7 days
  • The Litecoin price is down 26% to US$31.55 in just 7 days
  • The Bitcoin cash price is down 52% to US$309 in just 7 days

So what’s going on and could the Bitcoin price now be in a race to the bottom?

Over the course of November alone, cryptocurrencies are estimated to have blown up more than $80 billion of investors money.

It’s now likely anyone who bought during 2018 is selling at a moderate to major loss, and as prices fall further many crypto owners will be more inclined to hit the sell button.

However, the major recent problem for cryptos is the November 15 “forking” of Bitcoin Cash.

It has created a storm of controversy and disunity in the crypto community as rival Bitcoin Cash derivatives are setup as a result of the fork or split of the currency.

This outcome has shattered confidence in one of the fundamental articles of faith for Bitcoin investors.

One being the belief that the cryptocurrencies are finite in their amount on issue, however, now it seems greed and other factors are driving rival crypto specialists to introduce their own derivative-type clones of Bitcoin including Bitcoin Cash (BCH) which has now split into two other versions under the BCHSV and BCHABC tickers.

In effect Bitcoin now has three forked versions of it trading on crypto exchanges. All of these forks have come about in the past 16 months.

The Bitcoin Cash forks then may have sent prices lower as it seems cryptocurrencies could end up no more finite than real world currencies. If something has an infinite digital supply it could turn out to be worthless, despite the power of the blockchain technology supporting it.

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Motley Fool contributor Yulia Mosaleva 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.