The price of cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, all took a tumble. This was largely due to technical factors ahead of the upgrade of Bitcoin.
According to Bithumb and CoinDesk on Nov. 15, Bitcoin was traded at the 6.5 million won (US$5,747) level as of 3:00 p.m., down 10 percent from 7.2 million won (US$6,366) a day earlier. The figure was the lowest in a year after the 6.4 million won (US$5,659) level recorded on Nov. 12 last year.
Most altcoins also saw a sharp fall in value. The price of Ripple and Ethereum went down by 9 percent and 13 percent, respectively, while that of Bitcoin cash decreased by as much as 17 percent.
According to CoinMarketCap.com, the entire cryptocurrency market capitalization dropped by 17 trillion won (US$15.03 billion) over 24 hours to 96 trillion won (US$84.88 billion).
Experts attributed the nosedive to a controversy over “Bitcoin Cash hard fork.” A hard fork is a kind of software upgrade or update of virtual currencies. A hard fork splits one cryptocurrency into two. Since existing coin owners can receive the same number of coins they have, it can be a favorable factor.
However, Bitcoin Cash developers are currently divided into two camps related to the hard fork and in a conflict. For this reason, the prices collapsed as the possibility was raised that the hard forks cannot be done every six months like right now, according to experts.
In fact, institutional investors stood back from digital coins, mainly Bitcoin Cash, in force on Nov. 16 ahead of the Bitcoin hard fork.
Most of major cryptocurrencies saw their prices drop around 10 percent, while Bitcoin Cash showed a whopping 20 percent decline.