The collective value of the cryptocurrency market dipped below US$1 trillion on Monday after some US$200 billion was wiped from the market over the weekend.
Bitcoin fell just over 15% on Monday to hit US$23,150, now positioning the top crypto asset where it was before the 2021 surge that saw it trade as low as 67 500 US dollars in November.
Meanwhile, Ethereum fell more than 19% to US$1,196, leaving it far from its November 2021 peak of US$4,800.
After dropping around 13.67% in total, the global crypto market capitalization is now calculated at US$959 billion, according to coinmarketcap.com.
Nasdaq-listed MicroStrategy Incorporated, which holds some 130,000 bitcoins that crypto evangelist and chief executive Michael Saylor said the company would never sell, saw its shares plummet about 25% amid reports that she faces a margin call.
MicroStrategy is an analytics software company that has also used bitcoin holdings as collateral for financing convertible bonds and some of its bitcoin holdings have been acquired through borrowing.
Elsewhere, crypto exchanges were also focal points for volatility as Binance suspended client withdrawals due to a “stuck” transaction.
Initially, general manager Changpeng Zhao told his Twitter followers that the issue would be resolved within 30 minutes, but later said it would “take a little longer to resolve.”
Inflation, among a myriad of other volatility triggers, was seen as a cause for the latest crypto selloff.
UK stockbroker Hargreaves Lansdown, in a note, said Bitcoin and Ether continue to suffer “severe bruises.”
“They are the main victims of the flight from risky assets as investors worry about soaring consumer prices around the world,” said analyst Susannah Streeter.
“The worry is that inflation is getting too hot to handle as central banks will be forced to smother economies with jets of freezing water, in the form of much steeper interest rate hikes, to With the era of cheap money rapidly ending, traders are becoming more risk averse and turning their backs on crypto-assets.
She added, “Red lines on a chart belie the financial pain this loss in value should cause millions of crypto holders. Data from the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority showed that 14% of adults who bought crypto during the pandemic went into debt to do so.
“At a time of rising costs everywhere, healing a big hole in a crypto wallet is the last punch they need. It’s a stark reminder that dabbling in wild west crypto is very risky and investments in such assets should only be at the edges of a portfolio, with money you can afford to lose.