Bitcoin Rises To $16000 Then Corrects Spectacularly

The crypto currency Bitcoin had an incredible day yesterday when it rose to well over $16,000 almost touching the $17,000 mark breaking all records in the process. It had started around the $14,500 mark which was already a record price that was supposed to be reached by the end of the year but investors appeared to be pouring money into Bitcoin like there was no tomorrow. Other crypto currencies suffered heavily in the process though with Bitcoin Cash dropping by at last 11% whilst others such as Dash, Litecoin and Ethereum also dropped considerably with losses of up to 10%. Ripple was also in the red by 7-10% although it recovered slightly by the end of the day.

Bitcoin's wild ride continues as the cryptocurrency took an abrupt fall in trading above $17,000 to hit a 'low' of $14,106. Bitcoin price has had its biggest fall in dollar valuation yet, losing over $3,000 from its high of $17,203.45 during the early hours of Friday (UTC) down to $14,106.32, global average markets' data shows. The 17% drop, while steep, falls short of the 20% decline in bitcoin prices on November 30 - a day after bitcoin price hit $10,000.

Bitcoin's record-setting run took another unprecedented turn on Thursday, as the bitcoin price ripped past $19,000 on cryptocurrency exchange GDAX, leaving a trail of altcoin carnage in its wake. However, the rally was characterized by unusual trading activity, including one of the largest BTC/USD spreads in recent memory.

Bitcoin Price Clips $19,000

The breathtaking climb saw bitcoin rise more than $5,000 in a span of 12 hours. The journey from $17,000 to $18,000 took just fifteen minutes, and the leap from $18,000 to $19,000 was accomplished in five. By 11:30 a.m. ET - the end of the surge - the bitcoin price had reached $19,697 and was threatening to crack $20,000.

This ascent left many people puzzled because it was not replicated on other prominent bitcoin exchanges. Bitstamp, for instance, peaked at $15,995, while Bitfinex only made it to $15,700. Spreads between bitcoin exchanges are expected, but this is undoubtedly the largest percentage BTC/USD spread that bitcoin has seen in recent memory.

The spread was so drastic that GDAX traders were paying just $100 less than traders on Korea-based Bithumb, which regularly prices bitcoin at a 20 percent premium over the global average.

Bitcoin Price Plunges; GDAX Goes Down

Immediately after reaching $19,000, the bitcoin price began to plunge, and by 11:55 it had careened down to $15,100. Three minutes later, at 11:58, GDAX effectively went down, moving all markets into "Post-Only" mode, meaning that traders could place limit orders but could not execute any trades. Bitcoin remained frozen at $16,299.

Some observers began to wonder aloud whether GDAX's system had encountered an error or had been breached by a hacker, but the exchange resumed trading at approximately 12:25 p.m. and the bitcoin price began to recover from the dip that occurred just prior to the outage. At the time of writing, bitcoin was trading at $16,889 on GDAX - a full $2,000 above its price on Bitfinex. The global average, meanwhile, was $16,096, providing bitcoin with a market cap of $269 billion.

The bitcoin price ripped past $15,000 on Thursday, marking yet another historical milestone for the most prominent cryptocurrency.

Bitcoin Price Rips Through $15,000

Throughout the first week of December, the bitcoin price has been rising at a breakneck pace. In the past day alone, bitcoin rose more than $2,000, clipping past the $13,000, $14,000, and $15,000 markers in quick succession. This morning, the bitcoin price threatened to break through $16,000, too, but the rally ultimately stalled at a global average of $15,549.

Following a minor decline, the bitcoin price is now trading at $15,374, which represents a single-day increase of 18 percent and translates into a $257 billion market cap.

Bitcoin Cannibalizes the Swelling Crypto Market

Bitcoin's dramatic ascent propelled the cryptocurrency market cap to a new high-water mark of its own, and the combined valuations of all cryptocurrencies barreled past $400 billion less than a week after reaching $300 billion.

Notably, however, the flagship cryptocurrency refuses to allow other cryptocurrencies to ride its coattails through this leg of the rally. Seven of the top 10 largest altcoins declined at least 25 percent against bitcoin over the course of the past week - a fact obscured by their USD equivalent values - and only three have posted an increase.

Litecoin and cardano each took a 25 percent hit against bitcoin, while ethereum, bitcoin cash, and ripple are all down at least 34 percent. Dash and bitcoin gold were pummeled the hardest, with each plunging more than 40 percent for the week.

Only IOTA, monero, and stellar managed to post positive seven-day movements, as each has assembled an upswing on the heels of various bullish factors.

However, these three outliers aside, bitcoin has been cannibalizing the cryptocurrency ecosystem. In the past week alone, bitcoin's dominant market share has grown by nearly nine percent, raising it to just under 64 percent - its highest mark since late April.

Ethereum, once thought to be the heir apparent to bitcoin's throne, has seen its corner of the market shrink below 10 percent for the first time since March, and no other cryptocurrency can boast more than a six percent share.