Continuing a trend of following the dynamics of traditional investment markets, major cryptocurrencies were down on Monday after a rough weekend in which the overall digital currency market lost some $200 billion in value.
The overall crypto market, which was worth nearly $3 trillion last November, has now seen almost $2 trillion in losses as the total market cap dipped briefly below $1 trillion Monday.
The major U.S. stock indexes were down 2% to 3.5% as of midday Monday as investors reacted negatively to a worse-than-expected Friday inflation report.
Bitcoin, the most heavily traded cryptocurrency, sank below $23,000 per token late Monday morning, according to market tracker CoinGecko, for the first time since 2020, but it was back above that mark later in the day.
Ethereum hit a low of about $1,182 per token early Monday before also regaining some ground.
As of midday Monday, bitcoin and ethereum were down 22.6% and 32.9%, respectively, over the last week as risk averse investors continued to retreat from the volatility of crypto markets.
No bulls in sight: Macro factors are contributing to the bearishness in the crypto markets, with rampant inflation continuing and the U.S. Federal Reserve expected to hike interest rates this week to control rising prices, according to CNBC.
Last week, U.S. indices sold off heavily, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq dropping sharply. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have tended to correlate with stocks and other risk assets. When these indices fall, crypto drops as well.
“Since November 2021, sentiment has changed drastically given the Fed rate hikes and inflation management. We’re also potentially looking at a recession given the Fe mday need to finally tackle the demand side to manage inflation,” Vijay Ayyar, vice president of corporate development and international at crypto exchange Luno, told CNBC.
“All this points to the market not completely having bottomed and unless the Fed is able to take a breather, we’re probably not going to see bullishness return.”
Good as gold. Or not. The renaissance in day trading during the pandemic and the hunt for assets that could score returns while bond yields plumbed historic lows, led bitcoin to take off in the fall of 2020, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The cryptocurrency surged to record highs in November last year. Since then, it has slumped 65% against the dollar, belying predictions of proponents who said the cryptocurrency could replace gold as a hedge against both inflation and turbulence in broader markets.
“Risky and highly liquid cryptocurrencies are usually the first to be sold in a market selloff,” Jeff Mei, chief marketing officer at blockchain technology solutions provider ChainUp, told the Journal.