Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies entered another period of selloff Thursday, ending a period of recovery and stability that had endured for much of the past month.
The U.S. dollar price of Bitcoin was trading at $3,615.08 late Thursday, down 10.1% from a 24-hour high point of $4020.53 earlier in the day, according to Coindesk.
Other cryptocurrencies declined even more on Thursday. Ethereum was trading at $126.31, a decline of 15.4% in the past 24 hours. XRP, a digital asset developed by Ripple, was down 11.1% at $0.33. Litecoin was down 14.9% at $32.99 and Bitcoin Cash was down 16.8% at $131.92.
According to CoinMarketCap, the total market value of cryptocurrencies stood at $122.7 billion, a decline of 10.6% in the past day.
The cause for the sudden decline in cryptocurrency values wasn’t clear. Bitcoin and other digital assets have long been volatile, having plunged throughout most of 2018 after surging for several years.
Bitcoin, for example, is down nearly 80% from a peak it reached in December 2017, although it remains nearly 16 times higher than where it stood four years ago.
The volatility has amplified a long-standing debate over whether cryptocurrencies are a risky fad or a promising technology that has long-term potential in many applications. Some Wall Street firms and institutional investors had been warming to Bitcoin and other digital assets throughout 2018 before their values decline in the final months of the year.