Friday 17 May 2019 8:47 am

Bitcoin tumbles by more than 10 per cent to below $7,300 in under 24 hours

Bitcoin prices have plummeted over the past six hours dropping to below $7,300 (£5,710) just days after reaching a 10-month high of more than $8,000.

The price of bitcoin fell to a low of $7,140.77 at 6:30am BST, although it has since recovered slightly to $7,284.72 as of 8:30am.

Read more: Bitcoin ralllies – where next?

It means there has been a drop of more than 10 per cent in the last 24 hours, while other major cryptocurrencies have also seen similar losses.

It comes just days after bitcoin surged through both the $7,000 and $8,000 barriers within a day earlier this week.

Some analysts cited an increase in trade tensions between the US and China as the catalyst for the rally, which took the prices to their highest since last year.

"The crypto market has always been volatile and we have seen massive growth this month," says Pavel Matveev, CEO and co-founder of Wirex. "During May, bitcoin has grown from around $5,400 to a market high of just over $8,320, which is a massive 54% growth in a short period of time.

"The markets will always rebalance at some point as this growth rate is generally unsustainable. The news that a New York court has ordered Tether to stop loaning its reserves to Bitfinix and to hand over documents whilst its being investigated by the New York Attorney Generals office may have also impacted the market."

Read more: Bitcoin hits 10-month high as price surges above $8,000

Analyst at eToro, Simon Peters said: “Bitcoin’s blip appears to have been caused by a significant sell order placed on the Bitstamp exchange early this morning, which triggered selling across other exchanges, Whether this order was a deliberate dump or a fat finger error remains to be seen.

"Given the positive sentiment in the market over the past few weeks, it’s likely that the price will recover soon. However, this drop is a stark reminder that cryptoassets still operate in a nascent market, which is susceptible to significant price moves by whales.”