Cryptocurrencies continued their slide with a fresh bout of losses Friday after the SEC dashed hopes that a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund would appear before the end of this year.
Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency, slumped as much as 7.8%, taking it down past $3,400 to the lowest level since September 2017, according to consolidated pricing compiled by Bloomberg.
The wider Bloomberg Galaxy Crypto Index sank 10% as rival tokens including Ether, Litecoin and XRP also retreated.
The Securities and Exchange Commission plans to decide by Feb. 27 whether to approve a proposed ETF from financial-technology company SolidX Partners Inc and asset manager Van Eck Associates Corp, the agency said Dec. 6.
The proposal was set to get a decision from the SEC in December after previous delays and the new timeline is a fresh blow to an industry that’s seen prices fall throughout 2018.
A key impediment has been a lack of mainstream institutional adoption, alongside continuing security and regulatory concerns.
“Sentiment in the market is really bad, any negative news has an exponential effect,” said Timothy Tam, co-founder and CEO of CoinFi, a cryptocurrency research firm.
With the latest rout, Bitcoin has now plummeted more than 80% from its all-time high a year ago and is trading about 50% below its 200-day moving average, the most since January 2015, according to Bloomberg calculations. Cryptocurrencies have erased almost $730 billion in value from an all-time high in January, according to data from CoinMarketCap.com.