Most striking is bitcoin, which briefly fell below $8,000 a coin at about midday in London (7 a.m. ET).
Bitcoin fell to a low of about $7,700.
Bitcoin had dropped below $9,000 on Thursday, and the rupturing of this level seems to have spooked the market, with bitcoin losing as much as 15% in Friday trade.
Major cryptocurrencies appeared to be rebounding a little, however, as North American traders came online. Here’s how they looked at 1.05 p.m. GMT (8.05 a.m. ET) on Friday:
Other cryptocurrencies are registering similar declines. In fact, all but one of the 50 biggest cryptocurrencies by market capitalisation have seen big losses on Friday. At one point, all but two were more than 15% lower.
As a result, the market value of all main cryptocurrencies in circulation has dropped from close to $500 billion to about $375 billion in 24 hours, as this chart from CoinMarketCap.com shows:
Market capitalisation is an inexact measure of cryptocurrencies (as Business Insider Australia’s Sam Jacobs has outlined), but it at least gives a good idea of the scale of the ongoing sell-off.
Neil Wilson, a senior market analyst with ETX Capital, says in an email: “The wheels are coming off the bitcoin bandwagon…