Bitcoin, the world’s most infamous cryptocurrency, fell for the second day in a row on Wednesday, taking much of the cryptocurrency market down with it.
According to Yahoo Finance, Bitcoin fell by almost 10 percent on Wednesday and was trading at $6,402.27 on Thursday morning. Ethereum, another cryptocurrency, fell by more than 10 percent, bringing it down to its 2017 level. Other cryptocurrencies such as Ether, Ripple, and Litecoin, were also down.
Although experts are unsure of what is driving the cryptocurrency market down, an article by FXStreet theorized that the announcement of a new membership option by ShapeShift, a popular bitcoin trading service, may have driven off investors.
“ShapeShift has big news for our users! We are now offering a new membership program, which will provide users with more benefits & better user experience,” said ShapeShift in an official announcement according to FXStreet.
Although the membership is currently optional, it is likely to soon become mandatory, and will most likely need users to upload personal identifying data, which can be a turn off for many investors.
“Yes, that last detail sucks,” said Erik Voorhees, ShpaeShift CEO according to FXStreet. “We would prefer if the collection of personal information were not a mandatory element. We still firmly believe that individuals, regardless of their race, religion, or nationality, deserve the right to financial privacy, just as they deserve the right to privacy in their thoughts, in their relationships, and in their communications. Such privacy is a foundational element of civil and just society and should be defended by all good people. We remain committed to that cause, and it is best served if we are smart about our approach.”
Additionally, an article published by Business Insider disclosed that Goldman Sachs is scrapping it’s upcoming “bitcoin trading desk,” further pushing away potential investors.
Amidst the chaos of the crypto market, an anonymous “bitcoin whale wallet” that possesses close to $1 billion worth of bitcoin has suddenly reappeared for the first time in four years. According to The Street, the whale, which could either be an individual investor or a group, could be preparing to sell off a considerable amount of bitcoin. If the whale decides to sell, the impact would likely be felt across the entire market.
“Whales have been discussed in the bitcoin space for quite some time, and they are usually blamed for unexplainable market phenomenon,” writes Jamie Redman in an article on Bitcoin.com. “Further, there are a lot of conversations across bitcoin forums asking the question — How many bitcoins does it take to be a whale? It seems the answer varies from 1,000 bitcoins to 10,000 bitcoins according to multiple threads on Bitcointalk.org and Reddit.”
As investors wait to see what the whale intends to do, the cryptocurrency continues it’s downward trend.