Bitcoin Plunges to $66K, Altcoins Tumble 10-15% on Ugly Day for Risk Assets

Looking beyond today’s decline, investors may expect continued market weakness due to the tax season, Ryze Labs said in a report.

Cryptocurrencies tumbled Friday as risk-off sentiment in traditional markets amid flared-up geopolitical risks spread over to digital assets.

In fast downward afternoon action during U.S. trading, bitcoin (BTC) plunged below $66,000 after having challenged the $71,000 level just hours earlier. At press time, bitcoin had bounced back to $66,700, down more than 5% over the past 24 hours.

Ether (ETH), the second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap, fell as much as 12% to $3,100 before a modest bounce cut the decline to 8%.

Smaller cryptos suffered even heavier losses in the panicky action. The broad-market CoinDesk 20 Index (CD20) dropped nearly 10%, with Cardano’s ADA, Avalanche’s AVAX, bitcoin cash (BCH), filecoin (FIL) and aptos (APT) plummeting 15-20%.

The drawdown triggered the largest leverage washout in a month, liquidating some $850 million of leveraged derivatives trading positions across all digital assets, CoinGlass data shows. Some $770 million of those positions were longs betting on rising prices, caught off-guard by the sudden decline.

Total crypto liquidations per day over the past 6 months (CoinGlass)
Total crypto liquidations per day over the past 6 months (CoinGlass)

The dip occurred as stock markets sank during the U.S trading session amid rising fears of broadening conflict in the Middle East, as U.S. authorities warned that Iran could prepare to launch a significant attack on Israel.

Treasury bonds and the U.S. dollar index (DXY) surged as traders flocked to hedges, while key U.S. equity indices the S&P500 and Nasdaq 100 slipped 1.7% an hour ahead of the close of the trading session. Gold, long considered as a haven asset, surged past $2,400 to a new all-time high before paring its gains, while oil ticked 1% higher.

Digital asset investment firm Ryze Labs, formerly Sino Global Capital, said in a Friday commentary to anticipate some “short-term market softness” for crypto assets due to the upcoming tax season. However, it maintained a more constructive long-term outlook, expecting relief for the asset class as policymakers will slow quantitative tightening and potentially adjust monetary policy to facilitate U.S. government debt rollovers.

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