November 2018 was one of the worst months in the history of cryptocurrency trading, and December is shaping up to be a bearish continuation. Hopes of Bitcoin regaining strength and reaching a $10,000 exchange rate by means of a "Santa Claus rally" are fading fast, and other major digital currencies are getting caught in the downturn. A flash crash at a couple of cryptocurrency exchanges resulted in Ethereum losing value at a precipitous rate on December 6; at one point, price quotes for ETH/USD reached $13, but things eventually got back to normal after a few hours. By the time exchange platform operators adjusted their quotation engines, Ethereum had lost nearly 8 percent over 24 hours, and its exchange rate fell below the $100 benchmark price. It should be noted that Ethereum is no longer ranked as the second cryptocurrency in terms of market capitalization; that rank is now held by Ripple, a centralized digital currency token that cannot be mined. Even Ripple, which trades under the XRP symbol, is feeling the market blues; just a month ago, XRP/USD was expected to climb from $0.60 to $1.00, but the current exchange rate is closer to $0.30. Bitcoin continues to be the world's most valuable cryptocurrency, but it currently looks like a shadow of its frenzied high exchange rates just a year ago. When BTC touched the $20,000 mark in late 2017, speculation ran high about the potential of BTC/USD flying past $25,000 in just a few months; instead, Bitcoin has traded as low as $3,685 and is having a hard time climbing back to $4,000. Trading apathy is not the only issue impacting the cryptocurrency markets. Legal disputes between mining groups and development teams are plaguing relatively new tokens such as Bitcoin Cash, a digital currency that briefly showed promise as being used for everyday retail transactions. A Florida company that has invested in BCH recently filed a lawsuit against two major exchanges that allegedly engaged in pricing manipulation. BCH/USD quickly lost 14 percent of its exchange price shortly after the lawsuit against Bitmain and the Kraken exchanges was mentioned in news headlines.