The crypto market has now lost $2 trillion in value. Here are 5 shocking facts from crypto’s Black Monday
Investors had nowhere to hide on Monday as both the stock market and cryptocurrencies tumbled.
The rout followed yet another report of high inflation on Friday that has investors concerned the Federal Reserve will continue its aggressive interest rate hikes, thereby increasing the odds of a U.S. recession.
The cryptocurrency market saw its total market cap drop by roughly 12% on Monday to just $980 billion. The sector as a whole has now seen more than $2 trillion in losses since its November 2021 peak.
The crypto market was hit hard after crypto lender Celsius revealed it was suspending transactions, withdrawals, and transfers on its platform on Sunday citing “extreme market conditions.” The world’s largest crypto exchange, Binance, also briefly paused withdrawals, but has since resumed activity and called the interruption a result of “several minor hardware failures.”
All that is just the beginning of the bad news. It was a dark day for cryptocurrencies on Monday. Here are five shocking facts that explain just how bearish the market has become.
1. Bitcoin is now at its lowest level since 2020
The world’s leading digital asset, Bitcoin, fell over 13% on Monday to below $23,000, the lowest it’s been since 2020. Despite a monumental rise in 2020 and 2021, after this year’s rout, Bitcoin is just 20% above its highs from the previous crypto market peak in December 2017.
2. Elon Musk and Michael Saylor are nearly $1.5 billion underwater on their Bitcoin bets
Tesla’s Elon Musk and MicroStrategy’s Michael Saylor have been feeling the pain during the crypto winter this year, losing billions on previously profitable trades.
Tesla bought $1.5 billion or roughly 44,000 Bitcoin in February 2021, and for a time Musk and company were big winners as the cryptocurrency saw a dramatic price jump. After Monday’s losses, however, it’s now a different story. Tesla is roughly $500 million underwater on its Bitcoin bet on paper, even after realizing gains of $128 million in March of last year. Although it is possible that Tesla has sold more Bitcoin since its last SEC filing.
Meanwhile, Saylor, who has marketed his business intelligence firm MicroStrategy as a type of quasi-Bitcoin ETF, is also underwater on his Bitcoin purchases after Monday’s drop.
Saylor spent almost $4 billion on 129,218 BTC over the past few years, but his holdings are now worth closer to $3.1 billion. And the CEO faces a margin call on loans he used to buy Bitcoin if the cryptocurrency sinks below $21,000. Saylor has famously said MicroStrategy has no plans to sell its Bitcoin holdings.
3. Stablecoins are showing signs of destabilization
With the recent blowup of the stablecoin TerraUSD fresh in the minds of many in the crypto space, continued turmoil in the stablecoin market this week has been a worrying sign.
The Tron Network’s decentralized USD (USDD) token briefly lost its one-to-one peg to the U.S. dollar on Monday, leading the Tron decentralized autonomous organization (DAO), or the community-led group that controls the currency, to put down 700 million in USD Coin (USDC) to defend the peg.
Founder Justin Sun also said he would deploy $2 billion to stabilize the so-called stablecoin in a worst-case scenario, and argued that the 15% downturn in his cryptocurrency Tron on Monday was the result of a concerted effort by short-sellers.
4. Some Bitcoin mining machines are shutting down as prices drop
The drop in Bitcoin has been so dramatic that companies using older computers to mine the cryptocurrency shut them down on Monday as they weren’t able to continue operating profitably.
The Antminer S11 and AvalonMiner 921—two widely used Bitcoin mining machines—officially hit their “shutdown price” after Bitcoin fell below $24,000, according to the Bitcoin mining platform Bitdeer. Bitcoin mining stocks like Riot Blockchain and Hut 8 Mining sank 10% and 12%, respectively, as a result.
5. The crypto ‘fear and greed’ index is stuck at an ‘extreme fear’ reading
Cryptocurrencies’ “fear and greed” index, which measures sentiment in the crypto market, also remains stuck at “extreme fear” levels.
On Monday it hit a level of just 11/100, only three points higher than during the COVID-induced panic of March 2020. And with investors pulling roughly $102 million out of cryptocurrencies last week alone, according to a CoinShares report, more dark days may lie ahead.