It's been a rough week for digital currencies. Starting over the weekend, when news of the theft of $40 million in tokens from South Korean exchange Coinrail may have contributed to a loss of $25 billion for the industry as a whole, digital currencies have continued to plunge in value. Bitcoin edged downward toward the end of the week, peering toward $6,000 but still hovering above that. As is common, many of the other largest digital currencies followed suit, generally declining across the course of the week. While several of the largest digital currencies have made small recoveries heading into Friday morning, they have so far not seen gains sizable enough to undo a string of poor performances across the week as a whole.

Securities News

Top officials at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced Thursday that ether would not be considered a security. The news was seen as welcome by many ether enthusiasts, and the second-largest cryptocurrency in the world experienced a spike in value of about 10% in the hours following the announcement. However, by Friday morning, ETH had given up most of the gains seen on Thursday as prices slumped.

Bitcoin Manipulation?

One of the most pressing questions which may have impacted the prices of cryptocurrencies across the board has to do with an accusation of manipulation which may have bolstered the price of bitcoin late in 2017. A study from the University of Texas flagged suspicious activity surrounding BTC and the USD-pegged token Tether. Altogether, turmoil caused by this and other issues has driven the top 10 digital currencies down by nearly 20% for the week as of this writing. There is also widespread speculation that long-time investors have taken advantage of those bits of positive news to make quick money off of short-term trades when prices rise by a small margin. Together with other factors, this has led some analysts to suggest that there is a large-scale shift away from the HODL strategy that many bitcoin and cryptocurrency investors adopted from the outset of the industry toward a short term, quick money approach that largely involves trading on the news.

Investing in cryptocurrencies and Initial Coin Offerings ("ICOs") is highly risky and speculative, and this article is not a recommendation by Investopedia or the writer to invest in cryptocurrencies or ICOs. Since each individual's situation is unique, a qualified professional should always be consulted before making any financial decisions. Investopedia makes no representations or warranties as to the accuracy or timeliness of the information contained herein. As of the date this article was written, the author owns no cryptocurrencies.

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