Bitcoin holds $6,000, but pressure mounts on broader market


Bitcoin held its ground above $6,000 Tuesday, with traders seemingly taking stock after the recent selloff put dents in many digital asset portfolios.

In Tuesday trading, a single bitcoin BTCUSD, -0.88%  was going for $6,232.88, down 1.1% since Monday at 5 p.m. on the Kraken cryptocurrency exchange. The price of bitcoin has tumbled 14% since the beginning of September.

The broader crypto market was faring much worse Tuesday, with major altcoins showing significant losses in early afternoon trading. The worst performing coin continues to be Ether, which has slumped to a 14-month low of $182.64. EtherETHUSD, -7.41%  was last at $184.00, down 6.3%.

Tuesday’s slide took the market cap of the second-largest digital currency below $20 billion, to $18.9 billion, according to data from CoinMarketCap.

Read: Traders are making record bets for digital currency Ether to fall


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Other altcoins, or coins alternative to bitcoin, are trading lower too. Bitcoin CashBCHUSD, -4.75% was down 4.4% to $444.20, Litecoin LTCUSD, -4.92% was down 2.3% at $52.61 and Ripple’s XRP coin XRPUSD, -3.15% was at 26 cents, down 2.6%.

Bitcoin volumes fall as contract eyes record low

Meanwhile, trading in bitcoin futures volumes has sunk. On Monday, just 1,965 contracts changed hands on the CME Group exchange, down 28.7% from Friday and down 72.2% from one month ago. Monday also was the lightest trading day over the last four weeks.

CME Group bitcoin futures volume

Over at the Cboe, Kevin Davitt, senior instructor for The Options Institute, said a break of $6,000 would likely see a retest of the 2018 lows, which would also mark a record low for the futures contract, which debuted in December.

“The September XBT futures bounced off those levels on numerous occasions over the last three months. If the market fails to hold the $6,000 handle, then traders will almost certainly eye the contract lows ($5,850) and all-time XBT futures lows of $5,755 on June 29.”

Futures are tracking spot markets Tuesday. The Cboe Global Markets Group Inc.’s September contract XBTU8, -0.56% was down 0.6% at $6,205, while the comparable CME Group Inc. September contract BTCU8, -0.88% was down 1.1% at $6,195.

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