Cryptocurrencies continued their slide with a fresh bout of losses on Friday after the US Securities and Exchange Commission dashed hopes that a bitcoin exchange-traded fund would appear before the end of this year.
Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency, slumped as much as 7.8%, taking it down past US$3 400 to the lowest level since September 2017, according to consolidated pricing compiled by Bloomberg. The wider Bloomberg Galaxy Crypto Index sank 10% as rival tokens including ether, litecoin and XRP also retreated.
The SEC plans to decide by 27 February whether to approve a proposed ETF from fintech company SolidX Partners and asset manager Van Eck Associates, the agency said on 6 December.
The proposal was set to get a decision from the SEC in December after previous delays and the new timeline is a fresh blow to an industry that’s seen prices fall throughout 2018. A key impediment has been a lack of mainstream institutional adoption, alongside continuing security and regulatory concerns.
“Sentiment in the market is really bad; any negative news has an exponential effect,” said Timothy Tam, co-founder and CEO of CoinFi, a cryptocurrency research firm.
With the latest rout, bitcoin has now plummeted more than 80% from its all-time high a year ago and is trading about 50% below its 200-day moving average, the most since January 2015. Cryptocurrencies have erased almost $730-billion in value from an all-time high in January, according to data from CoinMarketCap.com. — Reported by Eric Lam, with assistance from Matt Turner, (c) 2018 Bloomberg LP