Bitcoin dives to 18-month low after DeFi lender Celsius blows up

Synopsis

“If you do get long, perhaps think about doing so with either a long call spread or short put spread to limit risk” on Bitcoin futures, said Rick Bensignor, president of Bensignor Investment Strategies and a former strategist at Morgan Stanley. “If this dives, there’s no reliable support nearby.”

Bitcoin plunged to the lowest in about 18 months after the freezing of withdrawals by the Celsius lending platform added to concern that systemic risk in the crypto ecosystem will accelerate the digital-asset market meltdown.

The world’s largest digital token tumbled as much as 15% to $23,336 – its lowest since December 2020. Other cryptocurrencies also declined as a broader sell-off continued. The MVIS CryptoCompare Digital Assets 100 Index, which measures 100 of the top tokens, dropped as much as 15%. And the total market value, which topped $3 trillion in November, was $1.02 trillion as of 9:48 a.m. New York time on Monday, according to CoinGecko.

“The fundamentals to support stabilization and recovery just aren’t there,” said Steven McClurg, co-founder and CIO at crypto fund manager Valkyrie Investments. “Things can and likely will get worse before they get better.”
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The selloff comes as traders are boosting bets for a more aggressive pace of Federal Reserve tightening after data Friday showed US inflation jumped to a fresh 40-year high in May. Cryptocurrencies, which have struggled amid the Fed’s policy in recent months, have been hit particularly hard. The collapse of the Terra/Luna ecosystem last month, and lender Celsius pausing withdrawals Monday morning Asia time, have further eroded confidence.

“If you do get long, perhaps think about doing so with either a long call spread or short put spread to limit risk” on Bitcoin futures, said Rick Bensignor, president of Bensignor Investment Strategies and a former strategist at Morgan Stanley. “If this dives, there’s no reliable support nearby.”

Crypto long liquidations hit about $437 million on Monday, according to CoinGlass, the most since May 11. This is the fourth day the tally has been above $250 million.

Altcoins were suffering more. Ether declined as much as 20% to its lowest level since January 2021. Avalanche dropped as much as 20%, Solana up to 19% and Dogecoin as much as 20%.

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Updated: 06/13/2022 — 22:00