Bitcoin drops below $20,000 as crypto meltdown continues

New York
CNN Business

The price of bitcoin breached $19,000 and ethereum fell below $1,000 Saturday morning, extending the brutal crypto bear market to new lows.

Bitcoin plunged nearly 10% in less than 24 hours, adding to a series of sustained losses over the last several months. It now sits below $20,000 for the first time since November 2020, down more than 70% from an all-time high of $68,000 per coin in November 2021. B itcoin has lost $900 billion in value since that peak.

Ether is also experiencing a so-called crypto winter. The second-largest digital token plummeted 10% on Saturday to $975, its lowest level since January 2021. The coin has lost 80% of its value from its record high last November.

The massive crypto meltdown is part of a larger market downturn brought on by elevated inflation, rising interest rates, war in Ukraine, Covid lockdowns and supply chain chaos.

This week, the Federal Reserve increased interest rates by 75 basis points, the largest hike since 1994. The change led to a retreat from all assets. The S&P 500 is also in a bear market and posted its worst week on record since 2020.

The crypto world is reeling from the $60 billion collapse last month of two other major tokens, Terra-Luna and Celsius. Those losses have increased doubts about the general stability of digital currency.

The pandemic brought a period of hypergrowth to the crypto sector as young investors suddenly flush with stimulus cash sought to invest in digital currency and meme stocks. Between March 2020 and November 2021 bitcoin’s price rose twelve-fold to $64,000.

Now, crypto-adjacent companies are struggling to survive. Coinbase laid off 18 percent of its employees in June. Gemini, BlockFi and also are cutting jobs.

Still, even at $20,000, about half of all…


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