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Bitcoin fell below the $18,500 price level for the first time Saturday, failing to rebound back to the $20,000 to $23,000 range it had been steadily trading at last week.
As of press time, bitcoin was trading at about $18,319 a coin, a 10.8% decline over the past 24 hours. Bitcoin’s market capitalization slumped to about $350 billion, a 73% decline from its November all-time high, according to CoinGecko.
The price drop of bitcoin also marks the breach of a significant price level – namely, bitcoin’s all-time high from the previous crypto cycle.
Bitcoin has historically experienced periods of asymptotic price run-ups followed by steep crashes, typically played out over several months to two years. Cryptocurrency traders and speculators refer to these periods as “cycles” and often reference historical price levels when setting new price targets.
Some crypto traders have theorized that bitcoin would not fall below its previous cycle’s highs, a theory that held during the 2018 drawdown, but has now been disproven for the current cycle.
During bitcoin’s 2017 run up, bitcoin reached a then-high of $19,783 in December 2017 before falling back down to the four-digits range just one month later.
During the 2013-2014 cycle, bitcoin reached an all-time high of $1,127 at the time, a level that the cryptocurrency successfully defended during its 2018 drawdown.
Bitcoin’s price drop Saturday morning also brought down the broader crypto currency market, with Ether tumbling 12.4% to $948, well below its 2017-2018 cycle highs of $1,448.
Other major cryptocurrencies saw declines of a smaller magnitude, with Solana’s SOL dropping 8.6% to $29.08, Cardano’s ADA falling 9.1% to 44 cents Ripple’s XRP declining 6.1% to 30 cents over the past 24 hours.