On Thursday, at approximately 21:00 UTC, the price of the largest cryptocurrency by market cap drifted below $6,000 for the second time this month, according to Coindesk data. Over 12 hours later, at 9:51 UTC, bitcoin was trading at $5,902, representing a sharp 70% decline from its December peak of $19,500. According to Bloomberg composite prices, it reached its lowest level since November when it sank to $5,791.19 on Friday.
The downward spiral has coincided with a series of negative reports, including news of several big hacks, talk of tighter regulation and warnings that virtual currency prices are being manipulated by illegal trading practices. (See also: Hackers Have Stolen $1.1B in Crypto This Year)
Bitcoin Likely to Fall Even Lower?
Rather than predict that the latest sell-off could spark an increase in buying activity, cryptocurrency trader Ran Neu-Ner said he expects bitcoin to keep falling. The founder of OnChain Capita told CNBC that the price is likely to fall to $5,350 in the next week or two.
"Right now my money is on the market continuing to go down," he said, adding that there’s more than a 60% chance of a crypto bear market — compared with a 16% chance of a bull market.
Earlier this month, Neu-Ner predicted that bitcoin could drop to as low as $5,000. According to the cryptocurrency trader, once the digital coin drops to this level the cost of production outweighs gains.
"That's where the miners look at this and go: 'Is it actually worth keeping the machine on?"' Neu-Ner said. "Then we may see a very different game in mining."
On Thursday, the trader commented that bitcoin is now closing in on the point where miners are no longer finding it “viable to mine.” "They're going to switch off their machines,” he said, adding that many miners have already begun to shut down their operations. (See also: Bitcoin May Be A Bubble: Alibaba's Jack Ma.)
Despite predicting further declines in bitcoin, Neu-Ner described himself as a crypto bull. "If you understand the technology and you're a bull, then now is a great time to be buying,” he said.
Neu-Ner added that blockchain technology and infrastructure interest him the most and that he is particularly bullish about two coins: neo, the currency used for a Chinese platform similar to ethereum, and Cardano's Ada cryptocurrency, which he described as a “highly undervalued” blockchain protocol. (See also: Bitcoin: Too Many Forks? 44 Emerged in 10 Months.)