Heading into the first days of February 2018, cryptocurrencies were down across the board. A slew of news stories may have negatively impacted prices on most of the top cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, ethereum, and ripple.
On the one hand, the fallout from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland continued to play out across the week, as regulatory agencies for governments across the globe all questioned the future of cryptocurrencies and their relationship with mainstream money.News from India also prompted a dip in prices, as the government indicated plans to crack down on cryptocurrency use in illegal activities.
In addition, a growing suspicion that popular bitcoin exchange Bitfinex may have propped up the price of the leading digital currency has some investors concerned as well. (See also: Who Is Roger Ver, aka “Bitcoin Jesus”?)
All in all, bitcoin experienced its largest loss in a single week in more than 4 years. The last time bitcoin prices fell by this percentage in the span of 7 days was in December 2013. The cryptocurrency dipped to a local low of under $8,000 early Friday morning before recovering somewhat. Nonetheless, it is down by more than half of its price just a few weeks ago, when it reached nearly $20,000 per coin. (See more: Crypto This Week: Bitcoin Price Plunges Below $8,000.)
Occasionally, the top cryptocurrencies move independently of one another. This week was not one of those cases. The leading digital currencies behind bitcoin (ethereum and ripple) both plummeted throughout the week before making slight recoveries on Friday afternoon.
Ripple fell below $1 per coin for the first time since it attained record high prices of nearly $3 heading into the new year. Ethereum spent most of Friday well below $1,000 per token, and occasionally even below $900 per token.
It was a tough week for other cryptocurrencies making up the top 20 digital currencies by market cap. Lisk, the number 15 cryptocurrency in size, briefly rallied in the middle of the week before losing its gains by Friday.
As of 4:05 p.m. EST, Nano and Tether are the only cryptocurrencies in the top 20 that have managed to eke out gains over Thursday. Tether was recently the target of a subpoena by government authorities, however, so its days of success may be numbered. (See more: Tether and Bitfinex Crypto Companies Subpoenaed by U.S. Regulators.)