A spate of cryptocurrency meltdowns has wiped out tens of billions of dollars in investor assets and sparked urgent calls to regulate the freewheeling industry.
Bitcoin’s price fell below $20,000 for the first time since late 2020, another sign that the sell-off in cryptocurrencies is deepening.
Bitcoin, the most popular cryptocurrency, fell below the psychologically important threshold, falling as much as 9 percent to less than $19,000, according to CoinDesk, a United States-based exchange platform.
The last time Bitcoin was at this level was in November 2020, when it headed to its all-time high of nearly $69,000.
Bitcoin has now lost more than 70 percent of its value since hitting that peak.
Ethereum, another widely followed cryptocurrency that has been shifting in recent weeks, made a similar fall on Saturday.
It is the latest sign of turmoil in the cryptocurrency industry amid broader financial market turbulence. Investors are selling riskier assets as central banks raise interest rates to combat rising inflation.
A spate of crypto meltdowns has wiped out tens of billions of dollars in investor assets and sparked urgent calls to regulate the freewheeling industry.
Cryptocurrency lending platform Celsius Network said this month it was pausing all withdrawals and transfers, with no sign of when it would give its 1.7 million customers access to their funds.
USDT, a stablecoin on the Terra ecosystem, imploded last month, erasing tens of billions of dollars within hours.
The sector has also suffered losses after companies like Coinbase Global Inc, Gemini. and Blockfi said they would lay off thousands of employees if investors dump risky assets.
The situation showed how major players in the cryptocurrency financial system are interconnected and how quickly perceptions can spread.