Bitcoin plunges below $7500: What's driving the selloff? – MarketWatch

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Digital currencies plunged Thursday in a market selloff that showed no sign of abating.

The No. 1 digital currency, bitcoin












BTCUSD, -4.44%










fell below $7,500, trading to an intraday low of $7,331.52. A single bitcoin was last exchanged at $7,425.61, down 6.4%.

Other major digital currencies have taken bigger hits with many losing more than 10%.

Ether was down as much as 10.8%, trading to an intraday low of $400.77, Bitcoin Cash last traded at $753.82, down 12.3%, Litecoin is off 9.4% at $119.40 and Ripple last traded at 53 cents, down 7.6%.

The total value of all cryptocurrencies fell below $300 billion overnight to a 4-month low of $274 billion, according to CoinMarketCap.

CoinMarketCap


Crypto market-cap

A mixture of more exchange closures, bearish technical patterns and the possibility of Ethereum fees has pushed some digital currencies to multimonth lows.

As the price of bitcoin falls, the chance of the much talked about ?death cross? happening grows. The chart formation occurs when the 50-day moving average crosses below the 200-day moving average. As the name implies, it?s widely considered a negative indicator.

Read: Bitcoin under shadow of ?death cross? chart pattern

Japanese exchange closures

As regulators in Japan tighten the screws, two more cryptocurrency exchanges have thrown in the towel.

As first reported by the Nikkei Review, Mr. Exchange and Tokyo GateWay have closed their doors as the heightened regulation from Japan?s Financial Service Agency, or FSA, continues to unfold. The tighter policy comes in the wake of the $530 million Coincheck theft.

In a blog post, Mr. Exchange said it is discussing procedure for returning customer assets and will announce specific measures later.

Tokyo GateWay has yet to make an announcement following the Nikkei report.

Read: The cryptocurrency market just suffered a theft worse than Mt. Gox

Ethereum mulls fees

As the Ethereum blockchain continues to be the platform of choice for new ICOs, founder Vitalik Buterin has mulled the idea of charging users to store data on the platform. In a recent blog post, Buterin described the idea like rental fees where developers would pay depending on the size of their data.

ethresear.ch


Ethereum Protocol Developer Raul Jordan also weighed in on the idea, saying it?s a conversation that needs to be had.

However, some believe the fee-based system will be a long-run benefit.

?Firstly, such radical changes improve Ethereum?s long-term functions. Second, most ICOs are designed according to Ethereum?s blockchain, and ICO growth correlates to Ethereum growth,? said Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at ThinkMarkets.

Futures markets

Futures markets were also in the red. The Cboe Global Markets April contract












XBTJ8, -4.44%










?has lost 6.2%, trading at $7,400 and the CME?s March contract












BTCH8, -6.29%










?last traded at $7,385, down 6.2%.

CryptoWatch: Check bitcoin and other cryptocurrency prices, performance and market capitalization?all on one dashboard

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