Bitcoin value has slipped down below $5,000 (4,366 euros) on Monday for the first time since October 2017 as a broad selloff gathered steam on the opaque cryptocurrency market.
Data compiled by the Coinbase digital exchange showed the world’s most popular virtual currency losing 12.5 percent of its value from Friday evening to stand at $4,914.21 by 1930 GMT Monday.
The rout began on Wednesday and has also affected widely-traded other cryptocurrencies such as ethereum and ripple.
Bitcoin opened trading on Wednesday at $6,326 and has since seen its market capitalisation fall to less than $90 million for the first time in over a year.
The still-nascent sector is not completely transparent and analysts have struggled to understand what precisely prompted the latest drop.
At least some of it has been attributed to a battle for control of a smaller crypto operator called bitcoin cash.
That currency has split in two – a process traders describe as a “hard fork” – and who owns it at the moment is not entirely clear.
Bitcoin cash was down around 20 percent on the day.
The confusion has highlighted what analysts have been warning for some years: crypto trading is too unregulated and risky to be considered a safe investment for the public at large.