Bitcoin’s wild week continued today as the price “corrected” back to $15,900 USD after briefly topping $19,000 on Coinbase in the early A.M. on the U.S. east coast. In other volatility news, Bitcoin Cash (BCH), which had begun to sink under the weight of BTC’s latest moon shot, suddenly spiked from $1,252 to $1,731 (CoinMarketCap).
Haven’t Seen BTC Prices That Low Since Yesterday
Those anticipating a glorious weekend of $20K BTC or higher received a cold bucketful of reality as the price dropped a staggering $3,000 — bringing it back to levels not seen since… yesterday.
That’s right, it was only yesterday that BTC prices in the mid-$15,000s were still extraordinary. Speculators probably shouldn’t open those skyscraper office windows yet, and at press time the price had climbed back above $16,500 on Coinbase again.
Bitcoin’s extreme volatility is evident in this Coinbase chart, where the price is simultaneously $3,000 down from its highs, yet still over $1,000 higher than a day ago.
It would be beyond foolish to make predictions at this point, but we advise anyone with a significant financial interest in all this to watch the charts closely from now on. Good luck.
BCH Takes Some of the Cash
At the same time BTC slipped, something interesting happened over at Bitcoin Cash — this CoinMarketCap chart shows a sudden and dramatic spike:
BCH remains volatile though, and several altcoins also grabbed some of the USD floating around. Ripple XRP also jumped back up to $0.24, while IOTA and DASH clawed back some of their lost value from the past couple days.
The Bitcoin Cash blockchain, which received criticism for erratic block times in its early days, has been confirming blocks more regularly recently. A hard fork in October upgraded the network’s difficulty adjustment algorithm (DAA) allowing it to respond faster to sudden changes.
The fact that Bitcoin Cash is pushing 5-6 blocks an hour so early into such a violent fluctuation in hashpower is a testament to both the wisdom of the new Difficulty Adjustment Algorithm and how it provides strength and insurance to the blockchain
— Rivers And High, Just-As-High, and Third 🐳 (@UpsUpsAndDowns) December 8, 2017
Bitcoin Cash is still maybe a little too good at processing blocks — right now it’s on block #507498, compared to Bitcoin’s #498192. That’s 9,306 extra blocks since the network began in August 2017.
Price Volatility and Difficulty Adjustment Makes Switching Easier for Miners
At this stage, the BCH price jump isn’t dramatic enough to suggest a new push by Bitcoin Cash’s investor and mining fans. At press time, it too had fallen back from its peak to sit around $1,460.
However since BTC and BCH parted ways, significant numbers of ASIC miners have tended to switch between the two networks depending on which was more profitable to mine at that moment.
A sudden shift in the price of either coin can affect profitability, causing the pendulum to swing even further. BCH’s new difficulty algorithm makes it easily (and more profitable) to switch.
Does the price drop worry you, or are you excited by the volatility? Let’s hear your thoughts.
Images via CoinMarketCap, Coinbase, Pixabay