Crypto rout drags bitcoin toward 14-month low

Story by: Aaron Hankin

Cryptocurrencies traded lower on Thursday, with bitcoin, the best-known cryptocurrency, falling toward a crucial support level.

A single bitcoin BTCUSD, -3.10%  was fetching $3,616.40, down 2.9% since Wednesday at 5 p.m. Eastern Time on the Kraken cryptocurrency exchange. A fall below the closely watched support at $3,500 could bring a 14-month low at $3,460 in play.

Bitcoin courtesy of Trading View

Read: Opinion: Bitcoin is close to becoming worthless

What are analysts saying

As equity markets continued to tumble, one digital-currency proponent and smart-contract user said major coins would provide investors with a bet against what is lining up as a bumpy 2019 for financial markets.

“There’s a growing list of investment tailwinds to consider for 2019. These include significant trade tensions, rising interest rates, political uncertainties, including Brexit, and complacent financial markets,” said Ian McLeod of Thomas Crown Art, a blockchain-based company that promotes smart contracts for art, in a morning note.

“Against this backdrop, we can expect cryptocurrencies will increasingly be seen as investors’ ‘safe havens’ in 2019 and beyond.”

Altcoins—the group of more than 2,000 coins other than bitcoin—are trading sharply lower on Thursday. Ether, ETHUSD, -6.55% is down 5% at $96.55, Litecoin LTCUSD, -5.29% is off 4.6% at $27.78, XRP, XRPUSD, -4.87% is lower by 3.9% at 32 cents and Bitcoin Cash BCHUSD, -13.06% continues to struggle in the aftermath of its hard fork, trading down 10.7% to $116.30.

Bitcoin’s relative outperformance has seen its market share of all cryptocurrencies rise to 54.7%, the highest level since Sept. 20, according to data from CoinMarketCap.

In futures trading, the Cboe Global Markets December contract XBTZ8, -7.49%was down 5.1% at $3,600, while the CME Group December contractBTCZ8, -3.78%  was down 2.7% at $3,605.

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