Following a gloomy federal inflation report released Wednesday morning, bitcoin, ethereum and other popular cryptocurrencies saw further decline in their valuations, continuing a trend that’s been in play since digital currencies hit peak highs late last year.
Bitcoin stood at around $31,332 at midmorning Wednesday but earlier had slipped to below $30,000 for the second time in two weeks and is down some 17% in the last week, according to data from CoinGecko. Ethereum slipped to $2,166 early Wednesday but had rebounded to $2,360 a few hours later. Ethereum is down almost 16% in the last seven days.
What gives? Cryptocurrencies declined with stock futures after the U.S. Department of Labor reported consumer prices for the month of April jumped 8.3%, which was slightly higher than expected by economists polled by Dow Jones, according to CNBC.
That spooked investors, leading them to exit risk assets including crypto. Cryptocurrencies remain highly correlated with the S&P 500 and, more recently, the Nasdaq Composite.
“The crypto market has been under pressure for some time now,” Michael Rinko, venture associate at AscendEx, told CNBC. “The Fed keeps hiking, so equities keep going down and crypto’s been going down along with it. Generally that’s created a lot of fear in the market.”
Bitcoin and ethereum remain down over 50% from peak highs reached late last year when the digital tokens were trading for around $60,000 and $4,800, respectively.
Crypto investments going rouge: According to research from blockchain analytics firm Glassnode, only 60% of bitcoin investments remained profitable when the cryptocurrency was priced at $33,600 per unit, according to Fortune. The remaining 40% of investments sank below water. As bitcoin’s price has tanked even lower, now floating between $31,000 and $32,000, an even larger share of investments are in the red.
“This decline in profitability is the fourth most severe over the last three years,” Glassnode said per Fortune, referring to the percentage of total investments that became unprofitable within the past month alone, which is 15.5%.
However: Analysts said they still believe the crypto is an ideal buy-and-hold investment. Edward Moya, senior market analyst at Oanda, said last week “there’s a lot of long-term potential value” for investors who hold on to their bitcoin, according to CBS News.
The drop in bitcoin’s price has nothing to do with things happening in the crypto world, said Mauricio Di Bartolomeo, who runs Ledn, a bitcoin-lending service in Toronto. Higher interest rates, rising inflation and other changes in the macroeconomy are the true culprit, he said.
Per CBS, Di Bartolomeo said bitcoin has outperformed the NASDAQ by 10% since March 2019 and outperformed gold by 16% since that same period, which is why the cryptocurrency might still be worth the risk.
“While there may continue to be short-term pressure in (crypto) markets due to macro factors, the attributes that make bitcoin a great long-term investment still hold true today,” Di Bartolomeo told CBS MoneyWatch. “With increasing adoption and banks like Goldman Sachs starting to get involved, the current environment can offer some buying opportunities for investors with long-term conviction.”