- The altcoin market sheds more than $2 billion in value on Tuesday.
- Bitcoin price approaches $7,200 on major exchanges.
- Volatile trading conditions follow a surprise announcement by Huobi Group that its U.S. operations are closing.
Bitcoin’s gravitational pull on the wider cryptocurrency market was evident on Tuesday, as altcoins lost billions in collective value.
There was no immediate catalyst for wider market selloff, though bitcoin’s inability to climb above technical resistance and chaos involving Matic Network likely contributed to the poor performance.
The value of digital currencies excluding bitcoin lost over $2 billion in market cap on Tuesday, according to CoinMarketCap. Their combined value now stands at $65.3 billion, or 33.2% of the overall cryptocurrency market.
To get a sense of just how badly altcoins have crashed, the market peaked at $141 billion in late June. At just over $65 billion, the market today is valued at a fraction of its June high.
With the exception of Chainlink (LINK), the top-50 altcoins and tokens declined on Tuesday. From the top, Ethereum (ETH), XRP, bitcoin cash (BCH) and Litecoin (LTC) were each down more than 2%.
Beyond the top-ten, Tezos (XYZ) plunged more than 10% to $1.42, VeChain (VET) hemorrhaged 15.2% to $0.00603 and Ravencoin (RVN) was down a whopping 25.4% at $0.0234. These projects were among the biggest gainers during the 2019 bull market.
Meanwhile, Matic (MATIC) was still nursing losses of more than 59% following an overnight collapse.
Bitcoin also languished under the pressure of a falling market. The largest cryptocurrency is down more than 3% over the past 24 hours, having reached an intraday low of $7,211.75 on Bitstamp.
The bitcoin price took a step back after failing to break $8,000 in late November. The king of cryptocurrencies peaked near $7,900 Nov. 30, but has struggled ever since.
Huobi Shuts Down U.S. Operations
The panic sale in the altcoin market comes on the heels of a surprising announcement from Huobi, one of the leading cryptocurrency exchanges. Earlier this week, the company said it will be shutting down HBUS, its U.S. exchange operation, “so that it can return in a more integrated and impactful fashion as part of its strategic layout.”
HBUS users have until Jan. 31, 2020 to withdraw their assets.
Huobi’s U.S.-based customers were forced to transition to HBUS in early November as part of a wider effort by the company to comply with U.S. legislation.
As of Tuesday, Huobi Global was the 26th largest spot exchange for cryptocurrency trades, according to CoinMarketCap. The data should be taken with a grain of salt due to widespread misreporting of digital currency trading volumes.