The price of bitcoin has fallen below the psychological key level of $ 20,000 as brutal sales of cryptocurrencies deepened.
Bitcoin momentarily fell to $ 18,739.50 and stayed below $ 20,000 on Saturday, according to CoinDesk, losing 72% of its value from its highest 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.
“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.
Ether, another major cryptocurrency, fell below $ 1[ads1],000, briefly reaching $ 975.35 on Saturday, 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 $ 840 billion on Saturday – the lowest since January 2021, according to data provider CoinMarketCap.
Bitcoin traded around $ 30,000 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 $ 260 million in collateral provided by around 80,000 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 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 at a time when 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.
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