The cryptocurrency Ethereum crashed by over 8% on Wednesday, extending a slump for the asset and the wider market.
Ethereum was down 8.6% to $169.12 just after 9:30 a.m. GMT (4:30 a.m. ET), a level not seen since May 2017, when Ethereum was enjoying its first price surge of the year.
The cryptocurrency is down almost 30% over the past seven days and has mirrored a wider slump in the cryptocurrency market over the past two weeks.
News involving the sector continues to be largely negative. The latest blow was a US judge’s ruling Tuesday that US securities laws applied to cryptocurrencies, a move that opens the way for a wave of potentially costly and distracting litigation in the sector.
While the cryptocurrency sector has been under pressure over the past few weeks, Mati Greenspan, an analyst with eToro who follows the sector, told Business Insider it was “just following the same trend.”
He added that recent comments from Ethereum’s founder, Vitalik Buterin, suggesting the days of massive growth were probably over might have spooked investors.
“The fact that he’s less bullish on the price movement could cause some people to be selling off a bit,” Greenspan said. “And discussions as to how to scale the network are ongoing.”
Charles Hayter, the CEO and founder of CryptoCompare, told Business Insider: “It’s a continuation of the story that ICOs are selling their raised funds, which are adding to downward pressure. This has spooked the market and turned the dial up on the negative sentiment.”
Other cryptocurrencies were also under pressure Wednesday morning:
- Bitcoin is down 0.8% to $6,234.60
- XRP is down 2.8% to $0.25
- Bitcoin cash is down 5.5% to $414.79
- EOS is down 1.1% to $4.81
- Stellar is down 5.5% to $0.18