FILE PHOTO: Representation of the Ethereum virtual currency standing on the PC motherboard are seen in this illustration picture, February 3, 2018.
(Photo: REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo)

Bitcoin (BTC) looked determined to hit the $20,000 oasis just a few days ago like nothing can stop it from its tracks. Around noontime Thursday, electronic trading boards slowly turned from green to red, indicating the popular digital currency is just minutes away from crashing.

It is the natural tendency and behavior of bitcoin: aggressive, relentless, yet unpredictable and, at times, unstable. Much like other traditional "real" money, except this one packs a lot of noise because it is heralded to be the future of money and it is supposed to bring good news.

The world's biggest cryptocurrency (in terms of market cap), collapsed by almost $10,000 in just 24 hours. The plunge, obviously, created shockwaves that were felt around the currency markets and the first casualties were Ripple's XRP, Ethereum, and Litecoin which all shed double-digit losses between 8-12 percent, respectively. Bitcoin currently changes hands at $10,084.

Bitcoin started showing cracks as early as three days ago when it dropped sharply from $10,880 to as low as $9,880 before currency players lifted BTC back again above the $10,000-region. It marks the worst one-day dive since July 16, nearly a month ago.

BTC has been see-sawing in and out of the $10,000 field since mid-June but has had troubles climbing back up and beyond that border, after global regulators doused cold water on Facebook's launch of its own virtual currency in 2020, considered by analysts to be the main spark of BTC's price so far this year.

Right up until this point, bitcoin has shown its weak side anew, wallowing in the "psychological level" of $10,000 before it could again recoup while leaving investors and traders bracing for the more bad news.

Bitcoin falling below a decent level was also initially accompanied by a big onrush in trading volume, which soared over $13.6 billion in a 24-hour timeframe as crypto owners scrambled to settle their positions to be able to patch up the leaks.

In a memo to clients early Thursday, eToro senior analyst Mati Greenspan noted that once again, bitcoin is "seeking support and having trouble finding it." In contrast, while BTC lost around 7 percent over the last day, Bitcoin Cash, the other version of bitcoin, has likewise been among early top decliners, shedding more than 11%.

The other top three virtual currencies being traded online have all since Thursday after-hours wiped away about $20 billion from the total market value of all digital cash combined in just 24 hours.