Bitcoin falls as much as 13%, extending losses from brutal week
Published on: May 24, 2021 07:30 (EAT)
Bitcoin prices fell as much as 13% on Sunday, extending losses from a gut-wrenching week for cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin, which accounts for more than 45% of the global crypto market, was trading around $33,000 per coin Sunday morning eastern time — far off its all time high above 64,000 just over a month ago. Tesla CEO Elon Musk, whose tweets regularly influence the crypto market, on Saturday underscored his support for digital currencies, giving bitcoin a slight boost after a very rocky week. “The true battle is between fiat & crypto. On balance, I support the latter,” Musk wrote Saturday morning. Bitcoin inched up above $38,000 but by Saturday night began falling again. Other cryptocurrencies also fell over the weekend. Ethereum was down 20% Sunday morning, trading around $1,900. Dogecoin fell 16% and binance coin was down 26%. (Cryptocurrency markets stay open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.) On Wednesday, a broad crypto crash wiped out about $1 trillion in market value. The selloff began after Chinese authorities announced further restrictions on cryptocurrency transactions within its borders. Statements from Beijing spooked an already jittery crypto market, and bitcoin plunged 30% to $30,000, its lowest point since January. Ethereum fell more than 40%, and dogecoin and binance lost around 30%. US regulators also hinted at restrictions, with the Treasury Department announcing that any transfer of digital currency valued at $10,000 or more must be reported to the Internal Revenue Service. This kind of volatility in the crypto sector isn’t new but as the digital coins become more mainstream, their swings are attracting more scrutiny among investors and corporate America. The recent stretch of losses began on May 12, when Musk did a U-turn on Tesla’s commitment to accept bitcoin payments, citing environmental concerns. Even with the past week’s losses, bitcoin is still up more than 250% over the past year.