On Saturday, Bitcoin dropped below $19,000, extending a brutal slide in cryptocurrencies. The worth of bitcoin fell more than 9% in 24 hours to $18,642.22, as of about 2 p. The last time bitcoin traded around this level was December 2020. That has led to a retreat from risky assets of all stripes, including stocks and crypto.

The crypto space remains reeling from the fallout of the $60 billion collapse of two major cryptocurrencies last month. Last week, $3 billion crypto lender Celsius halted withdrawals, locking users out of their funds and raising fears it’s going to face insolvency. Acting plenty like a bank, Celsius takes investors’ crypto and lends it to bent institutions to generate a return on deposits. It holds plenty of assets in the so-called decentralized finance space.

Celsius says it is, “acting in the interest of our community,” and didn’t return multiple requests for comment. The $10 billion crypto hedge fund is reportedly on the brink of insolvency after the plunge in crypto markets reduces the worth of its holdings. 3AC was an investor in Terra and has made leveraged bets on numerous tokens including bitcoin, ether, and Solana. Ryan Shea, an economist at crypto investment company Trakx.

Io said the recent stress on digital assets was the “crypto market equivalent of natural selection”. “This process is doubtless painful, but ultimately the shortage of a centralized backstop is a good thing as it means moral hazard is avoided because there are no bailouts in crypto unlike in the fiat system”.
The last time Bitcoin was at this level was November 2020 when it had been on its way up to its all-time high of nearly $69,000.
Bitcoin losing continuously and it has now lost quite 70 percent of its value since reaching that peak.

Ethereum, another widely followed cryptocurrency that’s been sliding in recent weeks, took an identical tumble on Saturday.

Bitcoin continues to plunge

It is the latest sign of turmoil in the cryptocurrency industry amid wider turbulence in financial markets. Investors are selling off riskier assets because central banks are raising interest rates to combat quickening inflation.

A spate of crypto meltdowns has erased tens of billions of dollars of investors’ assets and sparked urgent calls to manage the freewheeling industry.

Cryptocurrency lending platform Celsius Network said this month it had been pausing all withdrawals and transfers, with no sign of when it might give its 1.7 million customers access to their funds.

A stable coin on the Terra ecosystem, USDT, imploded last month, erasing tens of billions of dollars in a matter of hours.

The sector has also suffered losses after companies such as Coinbase Global Inc, Gemini. and Blockfi said they might lay off thousands of employees as investors ditch risky assets.