Bitcoin goes under $17,800 as Ether touches $897

    On Saturday evening, at 20:30 UTC, Bitcoin plunged to about $17,749, and Ether fell to about $897 as the sell-off in the crypto market accelerated. The world’s two most popular cryptocurrencies are down more than 35% in the past week, as both breach symbolic price barriers.

    Two hours later, at 22:30 UTC, Bitcoin bounced back to around $19,500, and Ether was up at about $993.

    By Sunday morning, Bitcoin is trading at around $18,400, while Ether is trading at about $960.

    The carnage in the crypto market is partly caused by pressure from macroeconomic forces, including spiraling inflation and a succession of Fed rate hikes. We have also seen these blue-chip cryptos track equities lower. It doesn’t help that crypto firms are laying off large swaths of employees, and some of the most popular names in the industry are facing solvency meltdowns.

    “In some ways, this is just an age-old story. You’re borrowing short and lending long. And I think it’s really unfortunate that people lost money, and I think it will, in some ways, set back the space, because you will lose some early adopters or some of the people who just came in new to the space,” Paxos CEO & Co-Founder Charles Cascarilla told CNBC.

    But Cascarilla also says that investors are still looking for quality crypto investments.

    “The fundamental technology here and the adoption curve that we see, the institutions that are coming in, how you can get your financial system to operate at the speed of the internet, those are things that need to happen,” he added.

    The week started with crypto prices plummeting and Bitcoin falling as much as 17% at one point in the day, hinting that the crypto winter was here. Bitcoin slumped to below $23,000 on Monday, and Ether went under $1,100 while the big crypto lender Celsius halted withdrawal. For the first time since early 2021, the overall crypto market capitalization fell below $1 trillion, amid traditional markets also came under severe pressure.

    Bitcoin peaked at $68,789.63 in November. Ether peaked at $4,891.70 that same month. Bitcoin last traded this low around December 2020.

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