Holders of Bitcoin held their noses yet again Tuesday as the price of the digital currency dove another 14%, pushing its declines to more than 30% in the past seven trading days and driving it to a 13-month low.
As of 4 pm ET Tuesday, the price of Bitcoin was at $4,277, putting the cryptocurrency on track to its worst monthly loss of the year. The leading cryptocurrency is currently trading more than 32% off its monthly opening price of $6,320, according to CoinDesk market data.
A split in the cryptocurrency Bitcoin Cash into two versions last week, as well as stop orders that kicked in at the $6,000 mark, are among several factors contributing to the selloff in Bitcoin over the past week, according to market watchers.
Speculation that increased regulatory scrutiny will prompt issuers of initial coin offerings, or ICOs -- the method in which digital currency creators offer investors units of a new cryptocurrency or crypto-token in exchange against cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or Ethereum -- has also spurred declines. Adding to the declines is a general exodus from technology shares, which have faced significant declines in the past week.
Cryptocurrency investors, however, saw more specific reasons behind the drop - in particular mass selling spurred by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's actions last week that has prompted issuers to rebate their token holders with cash and then re-issue their offerings as "securities."
"Friday's announcement from the SEC that two specific tokens were told to rebate holders of their tokens in U.S. dollars and then re-file as securities is where the selling pressure came from," noted Fred Pye, President of 3iQ Corp., a Canadian investment fund manager that focuses on investments in crypto assets and other disruptive technologies. "Tokens have to convert back to Ethereum or Bitcoin, and then cash out to USD, which is why we're seeing such steep declines."
The declines stand in contrast to its year-ago performance, when the cryptocurrency surged to an all-time high of $19,511. It declined back to $13,500 at the start of this year and then hovered around the $6,400 mark through much of October before prices started to dip again in early November.
Other major cryptocurrencies were down as of mid-morning Tuesday, with Ethereum falling 13% to $130.53, Litecoin declining 9% to $32.40 and Ripple down 11% to 43 cents.
To be sure, the recent price declines weren't phasing those involved in blockchain and other cryptocurrency focused technology and related companies, including New York- and Toronto-based MLG Blockchain, a consulting and advisory firm that assists in token sales, ICOs and blockchain-focused start-ups.
"The recent volatility of speculative blockchain assets does not change the underlying value of the networks being created," said founder and CEO Michael Gord. "The large blockchain companies of tomorrow operate and build without considering the short term price of their token."
(Updates prices throughout as of 4 pm ET)