The past day has been brutal for Bitcoin.
In its worst single day drop since July 16th, the value of BTC fell from $10,870 at 00:00 UTC on August 14th, to a close at $10,100 that same day. This marked a loss of 7% over the day.
Over that same time period, total trading volume rose $13.5 billion as traders hastily sold, disrupting the price further.
Prominent altcoins simultaneously lost value, including Ether, Litecoin, and XRP each declining to a further degree than Bitcoin.
Over that 24 hour period, market capitalization of all cryptos fell by $20 billion, leaving an end-of-day valuation of $265.8 billion.
As of writing at 6:35 UTC, Bitcoin’s price continues to fall, currently sitting at $9,785 USD. The 24 hour trade volume is presently $20.7 billion, marking a prolonged flurry of activity as the price continues to fall.
This marks a total loss from August 14th at 00:00 UTC of 10%.
Despite the extraordinarily large fluctuation in price this past couple days, the culprit may indeed be a single source. According to Chinese venture capitalist Dovey Wan, the reason behind the incredible fall in price is one single, humongous, Chinese Ponzi scheme.
In Wan’s thread on Crypto Twitter, she described the effect of PlusToken, a recent crypto scheme, which scammed over 200,000 BTC and 800,000 ETH.
The scheme involved the creation of fake wallets with “high yield investment return”, which then resulted in a reported 10 million investors depositing assets onto the platform. Ponzi schemes are described as the investment of money with the promise of a high return, which inevitably never comes.
According to a police report, PlusToken’s known wallets contain billions worth of cryptocurrency.
Despite the vested police interest in arresting those involved, not all involved have been jailed following the incident. Security auditing firm Peckshield found that over 1,000 Bitcoin from the ponzi schemers’ accounts have been sent to exchanges.
The scammers have been consistently dumping funds in batches of 100 BTC onto Binance, drastically lowering the overall price of the currency and causing more sells from concerned investors.