Bitcoin plummeted more than six percent in a two-hour period on Monday, hitting a low of $6,646.07 and remaining firmly under the $7,000 mark during Tuesday’s Asian trading session. Bitcoin prices are down over 52 percent since the start of 2018 and over 22 percent in the past month. The downturn has erased more than half of Bitcoin’s market capitalization since the January 2018. Analysts have speculated that the sell-off was prompted by tax-related selling in the United States as April 15th, the annual day for U.S. citizens to pay their taxes, quickly approaches. It is estimated that U.S. taxpayers owe approximately $25 billion in capital gains taxes earned on cryptocurrency holdings and that selling their Bitcoin. Bitcoin was trading at $6,753.07 as of 12:40 p.m. HK/SIN.
Stock Rally Continues
Asian indexes continued their uptrend on Tuesday, following Wall Street higher after Chinese President Xi Jinping committed to lowering import tariffs on many products. Speaking at the Boao Forum for Asia in Hainan, Xi said that his government will widen market access for foreign investors and protect the intellectual property of foreign firms. His comments eased tensions related to the brewing U.S.-Sino trade war and restored investor confidence. All major Asian indexes were higher in the early afternoon, with the Hang Seng Index leading the rally with a gain of 1.14 percent. U.S. stock futures were also higher after Xi’s announcement.
The yen faltered as traders retreated from safe-haven currencies. The dollar gained 0.33 percent against the yen to trade at 107.10. The euro hit a four-week high against the yen and was trading at 0.8712 while the Australian dollar hit a three-week high against the yen of 82.94 before retreating slightly to 82.80.