Bitcoin held its ground above $6,000 Tuesday, with traders seemingly taking stock after the recent selloff put dents in many digital asset portfolios.
In Tuesday trading, a single bitcoin BTCUSD, -0.74% was going for $6,232.88, down 1.1% since Monday at 5 p.m. on the Kraken cryptocurrency exchange. The price of bitcoin has tumbled 14% since the beginning of September.
However, the plight of bitcoin is nothing compared with the mounting losses in the altcoin market, the colloquial term for coins other than bitcoin.
Of the major altcoins, Ether continues to bare the brunt of the selloff, which has slumped to a 14-month low of $176.00. Ether ETHUSD, -7.69% was last at $182.12, down 7.3%.
The broad-based decline has pushed the total value of all cryptocurrencies below $190 billion for the first time since Nov. 1, 2017.
Elsewhere, Bitcoin Cash BCHUSD, -6.82% was down 6.5% to $434.40, LitecoinLTCUSD, -5.51% was down 5.6% at $50.82 and Ripple’s XRP coinXRPUSD, -2.19% was at 26 cents, down 3.6%.
Bitcoin volumes fall as contract eyes record low
Meanwhile, trading in bitcoin futures volumes has sunk. On Monday, just 1,965 contracts changed hands on the CME Group exchange, down 28.7% from Friday and down 72.2% from one month ago. Monday also was the lightest trading day over the last four weeks.
Over at the Cboe, Kevin Davitt, senior instructor for The Options Institute, said a break of $6,000 would likely see a retest of the 2018 lows, which would also mark a record low for the futures contract, which debuted in December.
“The September XBT futures bounced off those levels on numerous occasions over the last three months. If the market fails to hold the $6,000 handle, then traders will almost certainly eye the contract lows ($5,850) and all-time XBT futures lows of $5,755 on June 29.”
Futures are tracking spot markets Tuesday. The Cboe Global Markets Group Inc.’s September contract XBTU8, -0.24% was down 0.6% at $6,205, while the comparable CME Group Inc. September contract BTCU8, -0.72% was down 0.8% at $6,215.