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As bitcoin takes its biggest tumble this quarter, other coins follow suit

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Vyacheslav Prokofyev/TASS/Getty Images
As much as the world of cryptocurrencies might be riddled with uncertainties, you can always count on them to surprise you. Just as bitcoin seemed poised to break through the $20,000 mark after weeks of explosive growth and a year of surprising upward inclination, the original cryptocoin is going through its biggest crash in quite some time and the other cryptocurrencies have been dragged downhill with it.

Although bitcoin has existed for the better part of a decade, its stupendous growth in value of close to 2,000 percent in 2017 really propelled it into the mainstream and perhaps that should have been the writing on the wall for those who now lament huge losses on social media. When mainstream publications and those far removed from the deeply complex technological core of cryptocurrencies start talking about investing, the bubble has to be closing in on critical mass.

Other fingers have been pointed at the likes of bitcoin cash, an alternative coin that has seen rumors of insider trading swirl about it in recent weeks. Most notably, largescale exchange Coinbase announced it would introduce trades of the cryptocurrency just hours after it hit a historic high.

No matter who, or what is to blame for this latest downturn though, the fact remains that there are now many struggling to figure out what to do with their swiftly dwindling-in-value cryptocurrency. Bitcoin slumped more than 30 percent in the past couple of days and some of the other most popular alternative coins like litecoin and ethereum have tumbled right along with it, dropping in some cases by as much as 25 percent in the last 24 hours alone.

The general consensus among those who have seen this all before though, is to “hodl,” a deliberate misspelling of “hold.” Often also considered as an acronym as “hold on for dear life,” the idea is that these slumps are expected and that confidence in cryptocurrencies as a future economic model that go beyond a quick cash-grab, means they will soon recover. Indeed, bitcoin has traditionally fallen in value in short periods of time before steadily creeping back upward again.

While nobody can predict the future and certainly not when it comes to bitcoin and its contemporaries, there are millions of people involved in their mining, trading and ‘hodling.’ That alone should suggest none of them are about to be worth nothing. It may take time for them to recover, but it’s certainly possible that before long this latest slump will just be one of many on a road to new highs.

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Jon Martindale
Jon Martindale is the Evergreen Coordinator for Computing, overseeing a team of writers addressing all the latest how to…
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