Bitcoin (BTC) was off 4.26% to $3,585.43 late Thursday afternoon as the cryptocurrency continued to lose ground.
One of Bitcoin’s advocates, entrepreneur Charles Shrem, said Bitcoin was down because CME bitcoin futures expire Friday. He noted that the expiration of CME futures has brought declines in bitcoin in the past.
“It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy at this point as our team has been following the pattern all year,” said Shrem in an email. “We also think today’s move may be driven by last minute tax loss selling. These dips (feel) more like a consolidation for a move higher. Bigger players are out there waiting to buy.”
This has proven to be a difficult year for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as a combination of a market correction, shifting sentiment and external factors pushed prices down.
During the year, boxer Floyd Mayweather and recording artist DJ Khaled, were forced by regulators to repay earnings they were paid to promote an Initial Coin Offering, or ICO, for a company called Centra Tech. In addition, the SEC ruled last month that two ICOs, CarrierEQ Inc. (Airfox) and Paragon Coin Inc., had to return money to their investors. Neither Airfox nor Paragon registered their ICOs pursuant to the federal securities laws, nor did they qualify for an exemption to the registration requirements, the SEC said.
Facebook said the company is developing a cryptocurrency that will let users transfer money via the company’s WhatsApp messaging app. If true, the move would bolster the cryptocurrency market by adding WhatsApp’s two-billion-plus members as potential users.
But institutions have largely steered clear of the space, mainly because of the lack of insurance providers to backstop exchanges amid concerns of fraud and security lapses, which add to the uncertainty of the volatile investments.