Cryptocurrency Bloodbath: Bitcoin, Ethereum, and More Plunge

August 8, 2018, 2:15 PM UTC

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies took steep dives in early trading Wednesday, with many digital currencies losing more than 10% of their value.

Bitcoin was down 8.5% as of 10:05 a.m. ET, while Ethereum lost more than 10% and XRP tumbled 16%. EOS was the biggest loser of the top 10 traded cryptos, falling 17.89%, according to CoinMarketCap.

The declines seem, in part, a reaction to the news the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has delayed its decision on a proposed bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF). The SEC had originally said it would announce its decision by Aug. 10. Now, it says, the announcement will come on Sept. 30.

It was just over a month ago that the SEC rejected a proposed Bitcoin ETF from the Winkelvoss twins, amid fears of price manipulation in a 3-1 vote. (That decision only had a small effect on the market.)

The proposed ETF, from investment firm VanEck, is different in that it is backed by actual cryptocurrencies, rather than futures. The proposed ETF has been rejected twice before by the SEC.

Some investors, though, say bots could be behind Wednesday’s plunge.

Vinny Lingham, CEO of blockchain company CivicKey, suggested that bots arbitraging in real time—selling several different coins at the same time—could be to blame.

Lingham didn’t provide any supporting information for his claim.