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Bitcoin, crypto coins plummet in intensifying selloff

From bitcoin on down, most cryptocurrencies tanked Monday, as expectations the Federal Reserve will hike interest rates more aggressively to combat unrelenting inflation ratcheted up.

Overall, the total crypto market cap has lost more than two-thirds of its value since peaking in November, according to Coinmarketcap, falling from $3 trillion at its apex to $978 billion as of Monday afternoon New York time.

After briefly dipping below $22,641 per unit midday Monday, bitcoin (BTC) pared back to $23,404 by the afternoon, a loss of 16.8% in the last 24 hours and at a level not seen since mid-December 2020, according to Coinmarketcap. Meanwhile, ether (ETH) dropped 18.1% to $1,239.74 for the same period.

The pressure in the crypto market, which began over the weekend, forced Celsius, a crypto lender, to halt withdrawals, swaps, and transfers on Sunday evening, in a move one industry insider called "risking insolvency."

On Monday morning, Binance, the largest crypto exchange by trading volume, halted bitcoin transactions, according to its founder and CEO, Changpeng Zhao. In the past, the exchange and its competitors have halted trading during times of market volatility such as last month amidst the collapse of Terra’s stablecoin UST.

By 2 p.m. easter time, Binance announced through Twitter that its bitcoin withdrawals "are back online."

Here's a roundup of other crypto movers.

Other major cryptocurrencies such as Binance's BNB token (-14.59%) Solana (-14.38%), XRP (-12%), Cardano’s ADA token (-9.09%), Polkadot's DOT token (-10%), Avalanche's AVAX token (-14.25%) and the meme coin Shiba Inu (-10.46%) have pared losses slightly less than bitcoin.

On the other hand, sell offs in Tron (-17.49%), , Dogecoin (-17.37%) and Polygon's MATIC (-17.35%) are underperforming bitcoin and more closely following ether's drawdown.

Bitcoin price crash.Bear market in cryptocurrencies.
Bitcoin price crash.Bear market in cryptocurrencies.

The total crypto market volume over the past 24 hours has accelerated to $148.41 billion, a 89.46% increase, according to Coinmarketcap. Trading in decentralized finance (DeFi) currently makes up 7.18% or $10.66 billion of total on the day volumes.

As investors seek havens from the volatility, stablecoins made up $131.75 billion or 88.77% of the total market's 24-hour volume (a $5 billion decline from noon). Total circulating market capitalization fell 0.83% to $158.61 billion, according to Defi Llama.

As for bitcoin, Yuya Hasegawa, a market analyst with Tokyo-based crypto exchange, Bitbank told Yahoo Finance over email, “the selling pressure will likely continue until we see the results of the FOMC meeting, it could go further down to the $20,000 psychological level."

Bitcoin's current lower level of support rests around its 200-week moving average of $22,400 per coin according to Hasegawa.

David Hollerith covers cryptocurrency for Yahoo Finance. Follow him @dshollers.

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