A selloff in Bitcoin accelerated Tuesday, pushing it below $30 000 for the first time in about a month.
The world’s largest digital coin fell as much as 4.1% and was trading at about $29 600 as of 12:55 p.m. in Tokyo. Other virtual currencies also retreated, including Ether and meme token Dogecoin. The Bloomberg Galaxy Crypto Index was down about 5%.
The retreat comes amid a broader risk-off environment that’s also seen global equities fall due to fears of slowing economic growth and the relentless spread of the delta variant of Covid-19. Some traders had viewed $30 000 as a key support that, if breached, could open the way to more losses.
“Investing in these cryptocurrencies is based on confidence and liquidity, and as you have a little bit less confidence, you just have a more challenging short-term environment,” said Keith Lerner, chief market strategist at Truist Advisory Services.
Narratives that had propelled Bitcoin to a mid-April record of almost $65 000 are now being questioned. Fans had argued the digital asset could, thanks to its limited supply, act as a hedge against rising prices. But Bitcoin’s 2% advance this year trails behind the S&P 500’s 13% advance.
“Investors who are allocating to crypto know that volatility is going to be part of it,” Grayscale Investments CEO Michael Sonnenshein said in an interview on Bloomberg TV.
Some in the crypto industry had coalesced around $30 000 as a support point, citing clues from options activity and recent trading habits.
Bitcoin has been hit by many setbacks of late, including China’s regulatory crackdown — partly over concerns about high energy consumption by crypto miners — and progress in central bank digital-currency projects that could squeeze private coins.
The creator of meme-token Dogecoin recently lambasted crypto as basically a sham, and the appetite for speculation is generally in retreat.