Bitcoin continued to plunge this week to trade at just above $20,000, as the oncoming crypto winter shows little sign of slowing.
The world's biggest cryptocurrency has fallen by nearly a third since last Friday. The coin has lost around 70% of its value since its all-time high in November 2021, when it traded around $69,000.
Ether, the second-largest crypto, slipped 12% on Thursday. It has now lost 78% of its value since its November peak.
Other parts of the crypto ecosystem are buckling under the strain. Major crypto exchange Coinbase announced plans to lay off about 18% of its workforce.
The Celsius Network, one of the world's largest crypto lenders, recently said that "extreme market conditions" had forced it to temporarily halt all withdrawals, swaps and transfers from trader accounts.
Binance, the world's largest crypto exchange, blocked withdrawals on its bitcoin network for a few hours this week after some transactions mysteriously got "stuck" and caused a backlog.
What does this mean for me?
As the world's central banks race to hike interest rates to stabilize inflation, investors have abandoned their riskier investments, which include crypto assets. However, crypto investment veterans are not worried. They say that this is normal for a crypto bear market, which isn't the same as other bear markets, like stocks. Crypto bear markets usually drop between 80% and 90%.
During the 2017 to 2018 crypto bear market, bitcoin plummeted 83%, from $19,500 to $3,200. However, by November of 2021, the coin had surged back up to $69,000. Pro crypto commentators are advising crypto investors to hold steady.
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