Bitcoin lost over 17 percent overnight from Friday (Dec. 3) to Saturday morning, plunging to a low near $43,000 and inching back to $49,000 around midday EST. The decline was even more dramatic for some offshore platforms, where bitcoin dipped as low as $28,800.
The freefall was widespread and included other widely traded cryptocurrencies including Solana, Dogecoin and Shiba Inu coin, which lost more than a fifth of their value. Ether, the second-largest cryptocurrency, dropped by 15 percent but bounced back to a 1 percent decline Saturday afternoon.
The crypto plummet follows a stock market selloff in the technology space that sent major U.S. stock indexes to drop and sent Treasury yields falling, according to multiple news reports.
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The weekend crypto price drop also affected the total market value of the space, which lost close to $400 billion and dropped to around $2 trillion, before recovering to around $2.2 trillion from a high of $3 trillion last month.
Known for its volatility and for freefalling for no discernable reasons, the plunge in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies over the weekend had some veteran investors on edge. Some looked to the stock market, Omicron variant of Covid-19, and the Federal Reserve’s response to inflation, as playing roles in the drop.
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Saturday’s bitcoin prices went up and down as El Salvador President Nayib Bukele — where bitcoin became a national currency in September — said in a Twitter post that the country had bought 150 coins for an average of $48,670 each.
“El Salvador just bought the dip!” he tweeted and later said that the country had “Missed the f***ing bottom by 7 minutes.”