2018 low: Bitcoin crashes below $6,000, ending months-long doldrums

Over the past several hours, bitcoin prices fell from $6,392 to as low as $5,560 -- a downswing of nearly 15%. The low represents a new bottom over the past 12 months, eclipsing the previous low of $5,835 on June 29 of this year. The bellwether token's price has rebounded a bit since, however, with prints in the middle $5,800s as of this writing. Twitter is unusually quiet, with traders and bitcoin enthusiasts short on speculation as to the cause of the crash.

It is possible that some of the movement is due to late-year tax selling. With bitcoin down  >70% from all-time highs some traders could be booking their losses to offset gains elsewhere on 2018 taxes. The down move nevertheless represents a change in the recent status quo. Bitcoin had been seeing lower volatility than in recent years with virtually no movement since September.