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Bitcoin’s 3rd bear market in decade could be its worst, plunging 80 percent from last year's high

Bitcoin’s 3rd bear market in decade could be its worst, plunging 80 percent from last year's high
The sell-off in digital currencies continued this week, with the world’s most popular cryptocurrency, bitcoin, falling six percent on Tuesday to $3,779. Bitcoin’s all-time high was almost $20,000 in December 2017.

Other major cryptocurrencies, including ripple and ethereum have also fallen sharply, especially in the past month. The total cryptocurrency market cap currently totals $123 billion, according to Coinmarketcap.com.

It is down from its record peak at over $800 billion just at the start of the year.

Some experts hope for bitcoin’s market rout to bottom out before picking up again. They are drawing parallels with the dotcom bubble around the millennium, when companies like Amazon lost more than 95 percent of their value before recovering on an unprecedented scale.

According to Anthony Pompliano, founder and partner at crypto investment firm Morgan Creek Digital Assets, the latest crash probably isn’t over yet, but he remains optimistic about bitcoin.

“Through 2017 all of the buyers were retail — as the price is drawing down you’re starting to see institutional investors come in,” he told CNBC.

Other experts are not so optimistic and are warning of a looming all-out crash. “There’s still a lot of people in this game. If we start to see a run down toward $3,000, this thing is going to be a monster. People will be running for the exits,” Stephen Innes, the head of trading for Asia Pacific at Oanda told Fortune.

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Bitcoin has only been around for a decade, but it has already seen a number of bear markets. The cryptocurrency was worth a fraction of a penny in 2010, but by the following year it reached nearly $30. In late 2011, it fell below $2.50, down 92 percent from the record high.

Bitcoin first shot above the $1,000 mark in December 2013, but two years later, it was back below $200. Bitcoin saw an 84 percent rout between those two years.

It skyrocketed to an all-time high of almost $20,000 in December, but has since lost over 80 percent of its value.

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