Bitcoin Plunges Below $15,000 While Ripple Loses a Third of Its Value

People can now see what a difference one month makes. Having reached the $20,000 mark in December, bitcoin dropped below $15,000 again today, as Ripple, its fellow cryptocurrency, also lost a third of its value.

The almost 10 percent drop of Bitcoin, to only over $14,800, happened a week before the first bitcoin futures were set to expire.

In December, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) and the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) both launched bitcoin futures contracts, prompting the price to rise as high as $20,000 just days before Christmas.

However, with the first contracts scheduled to expire on the 17th of January, investors are expected to experience heavy losses.

However, despite the drops in value, the chief market analyst at Think Markets, Naeem Aslam, suggested that the launch of futures contracts may have had a stabilising impact on bitcoin.

Aslam said: “If you really think that bitcoin is nothing but a sham concept or a big bubble, then we should have seen massive short bets by now.

“Either traders are actually scared to short bitcoin because of its popularity and its volatility or they are waiting on the sidelines.

“Since the launch of the bitcoin futures on the CBOE and the CME exchanges, one thing which we have not witnessed is the string of record highs for bitcoin.”

Meanwhile, Ripple, the cryptocurrency whose value has risen by 35,000 percent in the previous year, plunged29 percent on the back of the drop of bitcoin, plunging as low as $2.48.