Cryptocurrency prices sank across the board early Tuesday as growing regulatory pressure, waning investor interest and online criticism from celebrities such as Donald Trump helped drive a $200 million sell-off.
The world’s biggest cryptocurrency bitcoin was down 8.4% in the 24 hours to 3:34 am E.T. and was trading at $33,041.47, according to Coingecko data, after having dropped below the $30,000 mark late on Monday.
Ether lost 9.3% in the same timeframe and was last trading at $2.515.27. At the same time, dogecoin logged losses of 13%, dragging its price down to $0.325888.
Nine of the 10 biggest cryptocurrencies based on market capitalization were down on Tuesday morning, the exception being the USD coin, a stablecoin pegged to the US dollar. Meanwhile, 10% of the global crypto market capitalization was wiped off.
Binance’s BNB coin was last down by 11.9%, and XRP lost 10.5%. Polkadot’s dot coin notched the biggest 24-hour loss out of the top 10 cryptocurrencies, as it was last trading 13.4% lower compared with Monday.
The sell-off could continue and drag bitcoin below the $30,000 mark, Thomas Westwater, analyst for DailyFX.com, said.
“Technically, bitcoin is in a weak position, below its 20-, 50-, and 200-day Simple Moving Averages. Moreover, the 50-day SMA may soon cross below its 200-day SMA, which would complete a bearish death cross, and potentially drag prices lower.” he said.
Concerns about a global crackdown on cryptos by regulators have been growing. President Joe Biden plans to discuss the use of cryptocurrencies in ransomware shake-downs at the G7 summit this weekend, though China is viewed as leading the way in considering a clampdown. On Monday, Chinese social media platform Weibo deleted the accounts of crypto influencers, saying they had violated guidelines and regulations.
The market was also absorbing news that US federal officers seized $2.3 million of the $4.4 million crypto ransom paid to the hackers of the Colonial Pipeline by getting access to a bitcoin wallet password. The seizure suggests authorities are able to track and access crypto wallets, meaning they are less anonymous and private than many investors anticipated.
At the same time, bitcoin especially has been suffering online criticism by celebrities. On Monday, former US President Trump told Fox Business that the leading cryptocurrency is a “scam against the dollar” and must be regulated more tightly.
There are signs that investor interest in the crypto market may be declining. Glassnode data showed the number of active bitcoin addresses – that is, the number of people trading the cryptocurrency – has dropped by almost 50% since its peak in mid-April.