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Bitcoin’s price drops below $ 20,000 as cryptocurrency sales deepen

The price of bitcoin fell below $ 20,000, and below a level that was widely monitored by cryptocurrency enthusiasts, as a brutal sale of crypto showed no signs of slowing.

Bitcoin fell as low as $ 17,601.58 and stayed below $ 20,000 on Saturday afternoon, according to CoinDesk, down about 15% from 17.00 ET Friday price. It has lost 74% of its value from its peak in November.

Concerns about the Federal Reserve’s actions to tame higher than expected inflation have pushed both equities and cryptocurrencies into a bear market. Big names in the industry, including Coinbase Global Inc.,

the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the United States, has recently announced cuts.

“Bitcoin breaking the $ 20,000 price level was a long way off, given the pessimism we have in the market,”[ads1]; said AvaTrade market analyst Naeem Aslam. The fallout from the collapse of the stablecoin Terra USD in May will continue to rip out, he said, and there is depressing sentiment.

There is no specific significance for the $ 20,000 level, but the price fell below $ 19,783, a previous high tide mark in 2017, according to Coinbase. Bitcoin bulls have long claimed that the cryptocurrency has in recent years entered a new stage of development and acceptance, and that it would not fall below that 2017 level.

“It will be a lot of pain for many investors,” said Yuya Hasegawa, a market analyst at the Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Bitbank Inc. People will lose confidence in the crypto market as a whole, but experienced crypto investors and those who believe in its long-term prospects will see an opportunity to buy at discounted prices, he said.

For Wayne Sharp, a retired investment adviser in Columbus, Ohio, the creeping crypto market came as no surprise. She bought bitcoin for around $ 10,000 in 2020, and has been sitting on it ever since, with no plans to sell or buy more. “I’ve seen many cycles. I’ve looked at this for 45 years,” she said. “People just make the same mistakes over and over again.”

Ether, another major cryptocurrency, fell below $ 1,000 on Saturday, trading as low as $ 880.93, according to CoinDesk, the lowest level since January 2021.

Bitcoin’s fall from a record high of 67,802 dollars in November has contributed to a wiping out of about 2 trillion dollars in the wider market. Crypto’s total market value, which peaked in November at almost $ 3 trillion, was around $ 834 billion on Saturday – the lowest since January 2021, according to data provider CoinMarketCap.

Bitcoin traded around the $ 30,000 mark for most of May before falling sharply again in June after a new inflation shock and concerns about rising US interest rates. Investors have unloaded assets that are seen as risky, such as cryptocurrencies and technology stocks.

Individual investors have received margin calls, with around $ 460 million secured by around 132,000 retailers liquidated over the past 24 hours, according to data provider CoinGlass. That compares with $ 1 billion earlier this week.

An increasing number of former high-flying crypto companies have felt the pain of what has been called a “crypto winter.” Cryptocurrency lender Babel Finance told customers on Friday that they were suspending redemptions and withdrawals from all products, citing “unusual liquidity pressures.” One of the largest crypto lenders, Celsius Network LLC, has not allowed users to withdraw money for about a week, citing extreme market conditions.

Cryptocurrency-focused hedge fund Three Arrows Capital Ltd. has hired legal and financial advisors to help find a solution for its investors and lenders after suffering huge losses from a wide sale of digital assets, the company’s founders told The Wall Street Journal.

The sudden squeeze on available, usable capital, often called liquidity, is exacerbating sales, and it is not something that can be easily fixed, said Ryan Shea, an economist at the crypto-investment company Trakx. Unlike in the traditional markets, “there is no central bank to go in and interview, the process just has to play out,” he said.

The increase in valuations of cryptocurrencies over the past two years was helped by large name investments from companies such as Tesla Inc.

and a period of lower interest rates during the pandemic that encouraged individuals sitting at home to buy more risky assets in hopes of greater returns.

Interest rate hikes now being approved by the Fed come as explosions in some crypto projects have swept across the ecosystem. The so-called stablecoin TerraUSD broke from its $ 1 stick last month after intense selling pressure, leaving it and its original sister cryptocurrency Luna now almost worthless. When developers tried to defend TerraUSD’s link, they sold bitcoin reserves, weighing the price of it and other assets.

Crypto-investors have recently become concerned about a derivative of the cryptocurrency ether that is locked in until the Ethereum network switches to a less energy-intensive model. So-called Lido-inserted ether has recently been traded at a discount to the ether itself.

“Crypto has enough problems. It does not need the macro,” said Noelle Acheson, head of market insight at cryptocurrency lender Genesis Global Trading, citing rising interest rates and inflation concerns.

Write to Elaine Yu at and Caitlin Ostroff at

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