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The cryptocurrency marketplace is facing an intense sell-off as investors are confounded by heightened talk of regulatory scrutiny and infighting over a schism in bitcoin's most notable spin-off, bitcoin cash.

At around 1:50 p.m. London time (8:50 a.m. ET), the total market capitalization of cryptocurrencies which is worked out by multiplying prices by the number of tokens in circulation had fallen to around $138.6 billion, according to CoinMarketCap data.

That marks cryptocurrencies' lowest level since September 2017, and a more than 80 percent decline that translates to almost $700 billion since the peak of over $830 billion their market value reached at the onset of the year.

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Prices were struck by an initial downturn last week, ending months of comparatively steady trading for the world's largest and best-known digital advantage, bitcoin an unusual phenomenon for an asset known for its rampant volatility.

That move came on the back of news which bitcoin cash's blockchain essentially a digital ledger with no central power overseeing it had been set to be split into 2, an event known as a"hard disk ."

Forks, which are essentially software upgrades, usually happen when there's a disagreement about how to scale a cryptocurrency to cope with a higher volume of trading, like the August 2017 branch that caused the creation of bitcoin cash.

Last week's fork saw bitcoin cash cloven into two new, different digital currencies,"Bitcoin ABC" and"Bitcoin SV" short for"Satoshi's Vision" the latter being the brainchild of controversial entrepreneur Craig Wright, who claims to be bitcoin inventor Satoshi Nakamoto.

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Because of this, various cryptocurrencies dropped, together with bitcoin dropping below $6,000 and several other electronic assets following suit.

Fast-track into Friday, and the world's largest virtual coin is currently trading at a price of $4,300down over 4 percent in the previous 24 hours, according to CoinMarketCap. Meantime, XRP, a digital token associated with blockchain company Ripple, dipped 6.7 percent to under 41 cents, while ether, the electronic token of the Ethereum blockchain, dropped more than 7 percent to just under $122. .

The Cryptocurrency Market Capitalizations page shows the current market cap rankings for major cryptocurrencies predicated my company on a currency you pick at the peak of the page. The page initially displays using"USD" as the crossrate to compute against. The list of cryptocurrencies, along with information for the page, is updated and ranked every 15 minutes.

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