Hundreds of billions of dollars have been wiped off the total market cap of global cryptocurrencies after a dramatic sell-off.
At one point, Bitcoin plunged to lows of $45,290.59 — losing 15% of its value in the space of 12 hours. Very quickly, the misery spread to altcoins.
Ether fell to $1,378 on Tuesday morning in Europe, a stark contrast to prices of $2,036 that were seen over the weekend. The world’s second-largest cryptocurrency is now clinging on to $1,500.
BTC Drags Down Altcoins
All of this serves as a stark reminder that the success of the cryptocurrency market is hugely reliant on the success of Bitcoin, and a fall in BTC’s value can drag smaller coins down with it.
Litecoin fell by over 20%, Chainlink took a 19% nosedive, and Bitcoin Cash was very badly hit — nursing losses of about 27% at one point.
In another controversial move from Elon Musk over the weekend, he tweeted that the price of Bitcoin “seems high” and that the token is a “less dumb” version of cash.
On Monday, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen had said:
"Bitcoin is an extremely inefficient way of conducting transactions and the amount of energy that's consumed in processing those transactions is staggering."
Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft, has also weighed in on the conversation, telling Bloomberg that he’s “not bullish on Bitcoin” — with retail investors often buying into bubbles.
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