How much trouble is Bitcoin (BTC-USD) in? The world’s largest cryptocurrency’s price looks to be in freefall, plunging nearly 15% today to just over $24,000, and bringing its price decline to more than 65% since it hit an all-time high of $68,000 last November.
Repeated attempts since mid-May to rally above $30,000 have fizzled and the price of Bitcoin may be headed to $20,000 or lower.
This situation has left many investors frustrated and giving up on the digital asset that many had predicted would be trading at $100,000 by now. So is Bitcoin’s current slump the beginning of the end for the cryptocurrency, or will BTC eventually recover and test new highs again?
Bitcoin had been trading in a narrow range between $28,000 and $30,000 since early May after falling steadily in the first four months of the year. According to digital asset broker GlobalBlock, the digital token faces “significant resistance” each time it rallies to between $31,500 and $32,000.
However, Bitcoin’s price is now at its lowest level since December 2020 and the current collapse suggests a further breakdown is likely.
Analysts are scrambling to revise their price predictions on BTC even as they blame this year’s decline on tighter monetary policy and tougher regulations dampening enthusiasm for Bitcoin.
While nobody knows for sure where the bottom is at for Bitcoin, what is clear is that investors’ appetite for cryptocurrencies is waning.
The selloff in digital coins and tokens accelerated with news that cryptocurrency lending platform Celsius said it is halting all withdrawals from accounts amid continued market volatility. That is causing panic in the global crypto market.
Similarly, cryptocurrency exchange Binance announced that it is preventing redemptions of BTC due to what it called a “stuck transaction” as the cryptocurrency selloff worsens.
The market capitalization of the entire cryptocurrency sector is now below $1 trillion for the first time since February 2021, according to data from CoinMarketCap.
Throwing In The Towel
To be sure, a growing number of businesses continue to adopt Bitcoin, make it easier for people to transact with the digital token.
In recent weeks there have been news stories about Chipotle (NYSE:CMG), the popular Mexican-style fast-food restaurant chain, accepting payments in BTC and other cryptocurrencies through Flexa, a digital payments platform. There has also been news that financial technology firm PayPal (NASDAQ:PYPL) has begun letting users transfer Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies between its platform and other wallets and digital exchanges.
While these developments are encouraging and suggest that Bitcoin has a future, there is also new legislation being proposed in Congress that seeks to treat cryptocurrencies as a commodity rather than as a security or stock. That would bring broad regulatory oversight to the sector.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that oversees Wall Street also continues to publicly threaten to regulate the crypto sector. These headlines, combined with the deteriorating price, have many investors throwing in the towel on Bitcoin and other digital assets.
Data from Alphabet’s (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL) search engine Google indicates that retail investors were losing interest in Bitcoin even before the price decline accelerated. Online search data from Google Trends shows that across the globe, searches for Bitcoin were at mid-2020 levels in April of this year. That’s far below interest at the peak in May of last year, according to Google.
Furthermore, in a report on the outlook for the cryptocurrency sector, investment bank Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) said that the growth in Bitcoin’s market capitalization over the past few years was due largely to easy central bank monetary policy. With the U.S. Federal Reserve and other central banks now tightening monetary policy aggressively, the good times for Bitcoin and other digital assets may now be over.
Don’t Buy Bitcoin While Its Price Craters
How low will it go? That’s the question facing Bitcoin and investors who remain bullish on cryptocurrencies.
And the short answer is: nobody knows how far Bitcoin’s price may fall in coming days. With the stock market struggling to post a positive week of gains over the past three months, there is a lot of uncertainty around all investments right now. And even more uncertainty swirling around Bitcoin and the cryptocurrency sector.
With no firm signs that it has bottomed and more potential downside ahead, investors should not risk their capital on Bitcoin while its price continues to plummet. Right now, BTC is not a buy.
On the date of publication, Joel Baglole held long positions in GOOGL and MS. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.