There is panic in the cryptocurrency market. Shunned by investors, Bitcoin continues to lose value. Several companies in the ecosystem appear to be close to default.
Bitcoin’s price suddenly dropped below $ 20,000. Saturday 18 June the queen of cryptocurrencies also briefly collapsed below $ 18,000, unheard of for 18 months. Bitcoin is a long way off its November 2021 high of over $ 68,000 and its 2022 high of $ 48,234.
One detail in particular caused panic among investors: the price revisited a price zone located below the highest level of the previous bullish cycle, which ended at the end of 2017. That year, Bitcoin flirted for the first time. with the $ 20,000 threshold. By scrolling below this threshold, the cryptocurrency realizes a historic first. Indeed, the price had never dropped below the record set during the previous cycle after a new bullish phase.
Cryptocurrencies, inflation and traditional finance
Mirroring King Bitcoin, the entire cryptocurrency market has entered a bearish phase. Ether, whose protocol update is expected in the coming months, has dropped below $ 900. All the altcoins went red this weekend.
The fall of cryptocurrencies accompanies that of traditional finance. After the monetary tightening of the central banks, stock market indices appear at half-range. The S&P 500 has also lost more than 20% since the beginning of the year. In the face of inflation and the risk of recession, investors are moving massively away from riskier assets, such as cryptocurrencies. Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are also affected.
Per Alkesh Shah, Head of Digital Asset Strategy at Bank of America, “Investors continue to position themselves on the defensive”. When questioned by the Swiss media, Cyrus Fazel, CEO of the cryptographic platform Swissborg, agrees. He points out that there is “less money on the market”, which pushes investors towards less risky stocks.
“What we’re seeing is more liquidations driving prices down, which is triggering more liquidations and negative sentiment – some flushing is still needed, but it will wear out sooner or later.”Noelle Acheson, market analyst at Genesis, explains to Bloomberg.
As can be seen on the Coinglass website, 85.731 traders have been liquidated in the last 24 hours, that is over $ 300 million gone up in smoke. Bearish movements like this are not uncommon in Bitcoin history. Since its creation, the cryptocurrency has often lost up to 80% of its value, destroying newly built fortunes, before starting to rise again a few years later.
Also read: In the beginning, bitcoin was neither egalitarian nor decentralized … and that’s a problem
The first victims of the cryptocurrency crash
The sharp decline in the market has highlighted the flaws of the more fragile players. This is particularly the case with Celsius, a platform that offers to earn interest by depositing cryptocurrencies. Accused of mismanagement of funds, the company would be close to the default. Returning to the wall, Celsius decided to block withdrawals and transfers.
Users are unable to recover their cryptocurrencies. In a blog post published on Monday, June 20, 2022, a week after the lockdown, Celsius warns that withdrawals and transfers will remain and will not be reactivated any time soon.
“We want our community to know that our goal continues to be to stabilize our liquidity and our operations. This process will take time “warns Celsius.
After Celsius, all eyes turned to Three capital arrows (3AC), an investment fund specializing in cryptocurrencies. Following the liquidation of several positions, the Singaporean fund would soon default. Several platforms, including BitMEX, have confirmed the liquidations of the company. Kyle Davies, the co-founder of 3AC, recently spoke about the difficulties his company is having in making sure it is committed ” solve problems and find a fair solution ”.
We also mention the case of Babel Finance, a Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency lender. Following ” large fluctuations ” of the market, the company admits to encounter “unusual pressures on liquidity”. Babel Finance has announced the indefinite suspension of withdrawals and wire transfers.
These companies would have lost millions of dollars due to the collapse of the FSO, the stablecoin of the Earth ecosystem, in May. Designed to replicate the value of the US dollar, the FSO dropped parity sharply last month. The event had blown a wave of panic in the world of crypto-assets.
Other stronger players in the ecosystem have also been forced to change course. Reliable exchange platforms, such as Coinbase, Crypto.com, or Gemini, have announced a drastic reduction of its workforce. It should be noted, however, that some industry leaders, such as FTX, Kraken and Binance, seem insensitive to the vagaries of the market. These companies have indicated that they are continuing to hire new employees. For example, Binance always has more than 2,000 vacancies in Europe, Asia, South America, Africa and the Middle East.