It was the worst first quarter performance for Bitcoin, the leading cryptocurrency as of now.
Citing the data, Bitcoin and Ethereum just had their worst first-quarter price performances in history, but ripple fell the most out of the top three major cryptocurrencies.
Based on Coindesk’s data, Bitcoin fell from $13,412.44 to $6,928.85 in the three months ended March 31, marking a more than 48% decline, which tracks the price across a number of exchanges.
The cryptocurrency’s previous biggest decline came in the first quarter of 2013 when it fell 37.9% from $770.44 to $478.72. CoinDesk has only tracked the price since 2010.
Over $119.9 billion was wiped off the market capitalization or value of bitcoin in the time period.
Ethereum meanwhile saw a 47.7% decline in price in the first quarter of 2018 from $755.76 to $394.65, according to Coinmarketcap.com, another site which tracks the price of various digital currencies across exchanges.
The crypto site first started tracking ethereum in the middle of 2015. In the first quarter of 2016, and 2017, ethereum was over 1,100 percent and 550% higher, respectively.
Ripple, meanwhile, was the worst-performing cryptocurrency among the major coins in the first quarter of 2018, down 77%. Its price fell from $2.30 to $0.509565, according to Coinmarketcap.com. But this was not ripple’s worst first quarter, which actually occurred in 2014 when it fell 96%.
Tracing the reasons behind the fell in value of the said cryptocurrencies, it can be noted that the regulators in China and South Korea have come down hard on cryptocurrencies.
In the U.S., the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has been trying to bring cryptocurrencies under its laws. And central bankers across the world, including Mark Carney of the Bank of England, have called for more regulation in the space.
Meanwhile, technology giants have moved to ban advertising around cryptocurrencies. In the first quarter of the year, Google, Facebook and Twitterbanned cryptocurrency ads.
At the same time, the amount of new money coming into cryptocurrencies is slowing, which could mean that the growth may not be as fast as previous years, according to a recent academic paper by Spencer Wheatley and Didier Sornette, professors of entrepreneurial risks at ETH Zurich.