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By Daniel Shvartsman
Investing.com – Bitcoin plunged below $20,000 in early Saturday morning trading, as the continuing crypto bear market took several leading cryptocurrencies past key sentimental or technical levels.
At 4:00am ET (800 GMT), Bitcoin was trading just below $19,200, 9% below its price 24 hours earlier. Ethereum traded just above $1,000, down 9% from the day prior. Cardano, Solana, and Investing.com BNB Index were all down 8 to 10% as well, continuing what has been a nightmare week and quarter for the sector.
Key stablecoins, especially Tether, had not moved noticeably in early Saturday trading, with much focus on whether it can retain its value and how wide the impact would be if it didn’t. Tether saw its aggregated value drop to below $70B this week, an 8-month low (2838377), as it saw redemption pressure (2837462).
Bitcoin took its biggest hit at approximately 2:45am ET, dropping more than 4% in a 15-minute span. It has dropped more than $10,000, or over 35%, since last weekend, after a bevy of crypto sector implosions, from Celsius’ shutting down withdrawals to Binance temporarily pausing withdrawals to, most recently, Babel Finance shutting down withdrawals.
$20,000 has been talked about as a key sign of support from a technical perspective, and is symbolically significant given Bitcoin (and the sector as a whole) trade at levels last seen in early December 2020, wiping out nearly the full bull rally. They are also currently below the highs of 2017, the prior major Bitcoin bull market. And in a sector where symbolism matters, the clearing of another major round number so soon after dropping past $30,000 may resonate, with the same principle applying to $1,000 for Ethereum.
This general range has also been watched closely given the concerns over leverage in crypto trading and the possible compounding of margin calls and forced selling. MicroStrategy (NASDAQ:MSTR), the tech company run by notable bitcoin bull Michael Saylor, has long been suspected to be at risk of a margin call if Bitcoin falls below $21,000.
With the market reaching that point decisively this weekend, it seems likely there are more twists to this cycle, one way or another.