Bitcoin Plunges Below $20,000

Key technical level breached again as bad news piles up for crypto industry

James Gard 30 June, 2022 | 12:06PM
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Bitcoin plunged below the key technical level of $20,000 on Thursday, shedding more than $1,000 or 5% on the previous day, intensifying the sense of crisis enveloping the crypto industry.

The coin previously dipped below $20,000 in June before recovering quickly during the trading day. This level is significant because Bitcoin broke through this in late 2020 before hitting peaks of $61,283 in March 2021 and after a short retracement, to an all-time high close to $68,000 in November 2021. Other coins have also suffered in the sell-off, with Ethereum shedding 7% or $75 to $1,023.

Since spring the price of Bitcoin has plummeted from $45,857 to $20,000, a change in sentiment fuelled by a growing list of scandals, including the collapse of stablecoins and platforms like Celsius suspending withdrawals. Listed platform Coinbase recently announced significant job losses

This week’s trigger includes crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital (3AC) being put into liquidation in the British Virgin Islands, which has created a ripple effect of losses across the whole crypto lending sector.

Still amid the chaos, remaining crypto zealots clung on to a raft of hope from the chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Gary Gensler. He argued that Bitcoin is the only cryptocurrency that could be considered as a commodity and regulated in that way. Other coins could be classified as securities, Gensler added, with the investing public hoping for a return as they would with any other security.

The SEC is still the bogeyman in some quarters of the crypto space: Grayscale Investments has just filed a lawsuit against the US regulator for rejecting its application to change the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust to an exchange traded fund. The trust is the largest by market cap and one of the first, in 2013, to offer investors the chance to buy crypto via a collective fund rather than owning coins directly.

Marcus Sotiriou, analyst at the UK based digital asset broker GlobalBlock, has analysed the recent market flows out of Bitcoin – using data from Glassnode Insights – in relation to other bear markets in history. He argues that “Bitcoin is currently experiencing the largest capital outflow event in history”, eclipsing the dotcom crash in 2001.

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James Gard  is senior editor for Morningstar.co.uk