Bitcoin and ether prices are falling after reaching record highs

This year’s furious cryptocurrency rally lost on Tuesday, knocking down bitcoin and ether prices from recent highs, along with declines in other risky assets, including technology stocks.

Bitcoin fell 13% to $ 48,016 after hitting a record $ 58,332 on Sunday, according to CoinDesk. The fall pushed its market limit, the value of all bitcoins in circulation, to $ 895 billion from more than $ 1 trillion last week. Ether, the second-largest cryptocurrency by total market value, fell 14% to $ 1,540.

A broad shift in markets towards caution, coupled with historically high prices, is likely to trigger a correction, analysts and investors said.

“The types of moves we saw in 2021 were parabolic,” said Joel Kruger, strategist at the cryptocurrency exchange LMAX Digital. “When you see such moves, it’s obvious that these markets will have to retreat.”

Assets – crypto or any other – that gained the most during the pandemic slipped in recent days as investors bet on the opening of economies. U.S. government bond yields rose to their highest level in a year. When yields on safe bonds rise, it makes speculative assets, such as cryptocurrencies and stakes in companies with future profits, less attractive.

There are other catalysts that gravitate to cryptocurrencies. Over the weekend, the richest advocate in the world, Tesla Inc.

CEO Elon Musk announced on Twitter that bitcoin and ether “look high”.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen in a weekly newspaper interview called bitcoin a highly speculative, inefficient form of digital currency often used for illegal transactions. It also signaled that it supports the exploration of the digital dollar supported by the Federal Reserve.

Bitcoin and ether are the two leading cryptocurrencies. They operate separately, but both are created when computer “miners” solve complex mathematical equations to unlock or mint new coins.

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Bitcoin was created as a storehouse of value and a means to facilitate decentralized transactions. Ether is part of a wider network of ethereum, which has a broader focus on storing items, including financial contracts and applications. Unlike bitcoin, the supply of ether is not limited, and the supply schedule is determined by members of the ethereum community, according to CoinDesk.

They were both caught in an investment madhouse as traders chased spectacular gains. Proponents of the currency, independent of governments and central banks, see it as a safeguard against belittling traditional fiat currencies. Skeptics dismiss them as speculative.

The steady flow of institutional demand has been credited with launching much of Bitcoin’s set since early 2020, when close to $ 7,000 was traded. Billionaire hedge fund managers have revealed the purchases, and Paul Tudor Jones called it “big speculation”.

Earlier this month, Tesla revealed that it had bought $ 1.5 billion in bitcoins for its corporate reserves. Tesla shares ended the session on Tuesday by 2.2% after falling by as much as 13% earlier in the day.

Shares of cryptocurrencies and blockchain-related firms were also under pressure. Riot Blockchain Inc.

and Marathon Patent Group Inc.

both fell more than 20%. Shares of online retailer Overstock.com Inc.,

which allows payment in bitcoins, has fallen more than 7%. Silvergate Capital Corp.

, a bank headquartered in La Jolla, California, which has served as a core part of its business for crypto firms for several years, has seen a 20% drop in shares.

The WSJ explains how bitcoin trading works and why it reaches its peak all the time. (Originally published December 22, 2020)

It is difficult to say where the price of bitcoin could stabilize. Cryptocurrencies are notoriously unstable and prone to large changes in one day. Determining fair value for bitcoin is much more difficult than estimating stocks, investors say.

“I guess the withdrawal actually adds to its appeal because it takes away a little bit of foam,” said William Hanbury, a fund manager at UK-based Waverton Investment Management.

However, it can be difficult to say when the decline in bitcoin could stop, said Mr Hanbury, who oversees bitcoin but does not have it in his portfolio. Previous adjustments have varied greatly in their steepness, making it difficult to estimate when investors could add exposure.

“You can somehow chase your tail in the end,” he said.

Write to Caitlin Ostroff at [email protected]

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