Between November 2021 and July 21, 2022, the cryptocurrency market lost almost $2 trillion in market capitalization, according to data from CoinMarketCap. This sharp downward trend continues to fuel concerns about crypto’s high volatility and its viability as a financial safe haven.
Cryptocurrency prices have fallen significantly over the last several months.
Bitcoin, the most popular cryptocurrency, reached an all-time high of nearly $69,000 in November 2021. Between reaching that all-time high and June 15, 2022, CNBC reported that Bitcoin’s price had fallen nearly 70%. As of July 21, 2022, Bitcoin was priced at approximately $23,000.
Other cryptocurrencies, such as Ethereum and Dogecoin, have also seen their prices drop in the first half of 2022. One cryptocurrency, Luna, fell all the way to $0 on May 13, 2022, after being worth $100 the previous month.
Businesses and consumer portfolios that relied heavily on cryptocurrency were negatively impacted by the collapse.
In March 2022, crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital managed as much as $10 billion in assets. On July 2, 2022, the firm filed for bankruptcy. Similarly, cryptocurrency brokerage Voyager filed for bankruptcy protection on July 6, 2022. Some crypto firms that have not yet declared bankruptcy have also sustained heavy losses, such as cryptocurrency lender Celsius, which once managed over $25 billion in assets but now manages $167 million in assets.
Some consumer portfolios have also experienced sharp drops because of the recent fall in cryptocurrency prices. On July 12, 2022, The Guardian reported that several consumers even lost their life savings during the recent rout in cryptocurrency prices.
Cryptocurrency prices may continue to fall.
Several analysts are warning that cryptocurrencies are entering “crypto winter”—a prolonged bear market that could last for years.
On July 21, 2022, CNBC reported that “several cryptocurrency industry players” who spoke with the news organization predicted that thousands of digital tokens are “likely to collapse while the number of blockchains in existence will also fall over the coming years.”
A Barron’s article from June 17, 2022, sums up the cryptocurrency market’s recent troubles as being “at odds with the prevailing narrative of the past few years, which preached that these digital assets would take the place of [gold] as a haven in turbulent times. It should be clear now that the opposite is true….”
While cryptocurrencies have been touted by some as safe-haven assets like gold, their limited history and recent performance may prove otherwise. Those who have allocated significant portions of their portfolios to cryptocurrencies may wish to explore additional alternative assets for their diversification strategies.