Home / Markets / Cryptocurrency /  Bitcoin cracks 14% to break below $45,000 as crypto selloff gathers pace

Bitcoin continued to fall on Friday with prices breaking below the $45,000 level for the first time in 15 days as experts said the recent sharp rally in the world’s biggest cryptocurrency to the $58,000 zone looked overstretched.

The digital currency moved in a wide range of $51,982.84-44,537.65 over the last 24 hours, as per cryptocurrency tracker CoinGecko. It had last traded below the $45,000 level on 11 February 2021.

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Fuelled by interest from major corporations such as Tesla and MicroStrategy, bitcoin had hit its all-time high level of $58,640.77 on 21 February. However, it has fallen by around 21% since then.

Meanwhile, MicroStrategy, which is one of the earliest institutional investors to have forayed into the crypto market, said they were planning to push an additional $2.17 billion into bitcoin, taking the total investment to 90,531 bitcoins in their reserve.

According to David Lifchitz, chief investment officer for Paris-based quantitative trading firm ExoAlpha, a correction in bitcoin cannot be ruled out. “$50,000 looks like the first stop for a mild pullback, but a second leg down could take it down to $40,000, while the $30,000 zone looks like the ultimate bottom should things turn ugly in the short term," CoinDesk had reported Lifchitz as saying.

The prices of other cryptocurrencies have also come under selling pressure in the recent past. The world’s second biggest cryptocurrency, ethereum, was trading at $1,469.88, down 8.2% at around 2.40pm IST. The digital asset is down around 28% from its all-time high of $2,042.93 hit on 20 February.

Meanwhile, crypto industry professionals in India remained positive on bitcoin

"While the prices fluctuated, it is heartening to see that the enthusiasm among investors and established players had not waned. In the past week alone, Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter and Square Cash app, announced that Square Cash had purchased nearly $170 million worth of investment in bitcoin," said Sumit Gupta, CEO and co-founder, CoinDCX.

According to experts, despite fears of a ban on private cryptocurrencies, prices of all cryptocurrencies in the Indian market was back at a premium of 3-5% compared with their international market equivalents. Notably, bitcoin and ethereum had slipped into a discount of up to 20% against global prices soon after the talks of ban had first surfaced in late January.

“It was an important week for crypto. We saw bitcoin price soar to a point where the price of one bitcoin was equal to one kg of gold. These developments show how the world is looking at bitcoin as the new digital gold. The world is moving fast in embracing crypto. It’s in India’s best interest to regulate crypto and stay competitive with the rest of the world. This will also encourage large institutional players in India participate in crypto," said Nischal Shetty, CEO, WazirX.

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