The cryptocurrency market continued its decline. Bitcoin collapsed to $10,000, while the total market capitalization fell to $450 billion.

The spectacular sell-off on the cryptocurrency market continues in full steam. On Wednesday, the average bitcoin rate fell to $10124, Ethereum price dropped to $904, while Ripple traded at $0.9. Since its December peaks, bitcoin has fallen by half, and altcoins compared to their January highs fell twice or triple. For example, Ripple price declined threefold.

At its lowest level, the total market capitalization touched $450 billion, but after that, it bounced off, while bitcoin returned to $11,200, and the total capitalization exceeded $520 billion.

Almost all cryptocurrencies continue to be traded in the red zone with rare exceptions. The altcoin, which demonstrates growth, is a digital analog of the US dollar Tether, which added 1.24% within the last 24 hours due to hard demand. USDT token traditionally grows during the fall of the cryptocurrency market due to demand on crypto-exchanges, where Tether replaces the fiat money in trading pairs with cryptocurrencies.

There are several reasons for the current market decline. One of the main ones is tightening of regulatory pressure on the crypto-industry in South Korea and China. Last week, South Korean Ministry of Justice declared its support of the initiative to close crypto-exchanges due to possible speculations on them. Later, the market was horrified by the information that People's Bank of China advocated in favor of the closure of all exchanging platforms, including OTC exchanges, and recommended to block access to sites of foreign crypto-exchanges.

The fall of crypto-market was aggravated by the fact that 17 January is the date of expiration of bitcoin futures on the Chicago Stock Exchange Cboe. Institutional investors, who mostly bet against bitcoin, could provoke a sell-off among retail investors.

Many crypto-enthusiasts also pay attention to the fact that the cryptocurrency market traditionally shows a drop at the beginning of the year. In 2015, 2016, and 2017 January and February were the months when the bitcoin rate significantly declined but later gained to enter a phase of sustainable growth.

Despite such a radical correction, crypto-enthusiasts continue to believe that bitcoin will show growth this year and reach $20,000.

So, the strategist of Saxo Bank Kay Van-Petersen predicted that the bitcoin rate could fly up to $100,000 in 2018, although earlier he had suggested that it would happen only within the next ten years.

He called the current correction "proper and healthy," which will "build a foundation" for further growth of the bitcoin price.

John McAfee, computer programmer, and MGT Capital Investments CEO blamed large banks for trying to put bitcoin down.