Bitcoin has had a tough week but it was other, lesser-known cryptocurrencies leading the selling-spree Tuesday. Ether, which is the second largest cryptocurrency behind bitcoin, was the biggest loser among the top five by market capitalization and fell more than 12 percent, according to data from industry site CoinMarketCap.com.

Ether is down 65 percent this year and was trading near $260 Tuesday after starting the year above $760. “The crypto market seems to have hit panic mode, with prices falling significantly across the board,” said Matthew Newton, analyst at global investment platform eToro.

“As we can see in the case of Ether, investors seem to be increasing liquidations of their ICO holdings, with significant drops in price and increased volumes.” XRP, the world’s third largest digital currency, dropped by 10 percent to about 26 cents.

The digital currency is one of the biggest laggards this year, dropping roughly 90 percent after starting the year above $2.30, according to historical data from CoinMarketCap.com. The entire market value of cryptocurrencies has tumbled 69 percent this year, and in the past 24 hours fell by $19 billion, according to the CoinMarketCap.com data.

Bitcoin still makes up more than half of the cryptocurrency market, and has also struggled to recover to anywhere near its high near $20,000 in December. Prices have fallen more than 56 percent this year to about $6,000 Tuesday. Read more from cnbc.com…

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