CRYPTO CARNAGE: Bitcoin loses 15% before rebounding into positive territory

LONDON — Cryptocurrency markets are swung wildly on Friday, after a major early morning crash gave way to an afternoon rebound.

During European morning trade on Friday, the price of virtually every major cryptocurrency dropped more than 15% as investors remained spooked following bitcoin’s fall below the key $9,000 support level on Thursday.

“The wheels are coming off the bitcoin bandwagon,” Neil Wilson, a senior market analyst with ETX Capital, said in an email this morning.

“The regulatory crunch appears closer than ever and sooner or later this market could be headed back down to earth. Selling pressure at the moment is intense as there has been nothing but bad news for bitcoin bulls of late.”

Bitcoin crashed as low as $7,700 during the collapse, losing roughly 15% of its value at one point. Other major cryptos fell even further, with Ethereum down as much as 23% at one point.

By the European afternoon, however, prices have bounced back sharply, and by 4.50 p.m. GMT (11.45 a.m. ET) bitcoin was actually in positive territory on the day, trading at $9,130.

Although there was no immediately obvious catalyst for the rebound, it coincided with the East Coast of the USA waking up, suggesting that American traders were engaging in a bout of dip-buying.

Here’s how bitcoin looked as of 4.50 p.m. GMT (11.50 a.m. ET):

Screen Shot 2018 02 02 at 16.51.29Markets Insider

Earlier on Friday, the market crash was so bad that all but two of the 50 biggest cryptocurrencies by market capitalisation were down more than 15%…

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