Bitcoin's market capitalisation has fallen below the $100bn (£78bn) mark for the first time in over a year, amid a wider sell-off in the cryptocurrency sector.

The value of the world's largest cryptocurrency briefly dipped below the milestone late last night, before settling firmly around the $98bn mark in the early hours of this morning, according to data from Coinmarketcap.

The move comes after bitcoin hit its lowest point this year yesterday, falling as much as nine per cent to $5324 according to data from Luxembourg-based exchange Bitstamp.

The cryptocurrency's price seemed to have stabilised somewhat in recent months, sitting between the $6,000 and $6,800 mark since September.

Some analysts have suggested this recent harmony was upset by today's impending so-called hard fork in bitcoin cash, which is set to split into two new currencies: bitcoin ABC and bitcoin SV.

Bitcoin cash itself was forked away from bitcoin in August last year, over disagreements on how to scale the digital asset. 

As a result of the wider crash, the gap between the next two largest cryptocurrencies, ripple and ethereum, is closer in market value than ever. Both cryptocurrencies are floating around $18bn as of this morning, according to Coinmarketcap.