The ‘crypto winter’ may be about to get colder still after Bitcoin dropped below the symbolic $20,000 mark over the weekend.

The most valuable cryptocurrency has lost 57% of its value this year, with a whopping 37% of that in this month alone.

It is the first time BTC has dropped below $20k since December 2020, having hit an all-time high of $68,000 in November 2021.

The collapse of the Terra coin and stablecoin has propelled a downward spiral which has resulted in crypto lender Celsius Network pausing withdrawals, swaps and transfers, leading to fears it could be liquidated.

A week on from halting withdrawals, the company says it “maintains an open dialogue with regulators and officials” and “plans to continue working with them… regarding this pause and our company’s determination to find a resolution”.

The company is also halting communication with its clients via Twitter Spaces and ‘ask me anything’ (AMA) sessions “to focus on navigating these unprecedented challenges”.

Before the weekend, another crypto lender also suspended withdrawals and the redemption of crypto assets. Babel Finance is scrambling to pay its clients due to the market drop, which is currently at $879 billion overall mere months after almost topping $3 trillion.

Meanwhile users of Solana-based borrowing and lending service Solend voted on Sunday to force a takeover of the protocol’s largest account in an unprecedented governance move.

Solend said the whale’s extremely large margin position was dangerously close to a ‘catastrophic on-chain liquidation cliff’ and that a sell-off ‘could cause chaos’ in Solana’s DeFi markets.

Solend Labs will liquidate $20 million of SOL tokens via over-the-counter (OTC) trades instead of decentralised exchanges if the price of SOL drops too low in an attempt to avoid a serious knock-on effect.

Prices, however, have risen across the board in the 24 hours from Sunday morning to Monday (7am UK time) while some altcoins bucked BTC’s overall downward trend over the course of the last three days.

Cryptocurrency shorts

Christie’s Web3 expert, who has helped the auction house embrace crypto, is leaving for Yuga Labs. Noah Davis, who was involved in Beeple’s $69 million NFT sale in March 2021, will lead the CryptoPunks NFT brand. He tweeted: “Before I say anything else it’s important to confirm what we WON’T be doing… simply put: I WILL NOT F*** WITH THE PUNKS… what does that mean? It means no Punks on lunchboxes or cringe TV shows/shitty movies. It means no arbitrary rushed utility or thoughtless airdrops. It means if you love your Punk(s) because they are what they are (just Punks) then you and I see eye to eye…”

Crypto payment provider has reported a 128% year-on-year increase in the number of processed transactions and a 3.6x increase in payment volume in Q1 2022. As all-time payment volume reaches €12bn, the company is rebranding along a sports ‘team-focused’ theme.

Tesla entrepreneur Elon Musk – the world’s richest person – tweeted that he would ‘buy the dip’ in Dogecoin over the weekend, leading to a rise in DOGE’s price.

Crypto prices

The overall market cap of the more than 19,900 coins is at $878.6 billion at the time of writing (7am UK), down from $899.46bn on Friday morning.

Market leader Bitcoin – the original cryptocurrency created by the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto – lost around $800 in the last three days to $20,000. BTC is 21% down in a week.

Ethereum, the second most valuable crypto coin – created as a decentralised network for smart contracts on the blockchain – shed around $20 to $1,079. ETH is 19% down over the course of a week.

Binance Coin is a cryptocurrency created by popular crypto exchange Binance to assist its aim in becoming the infrastructure services provider for the entire blockchain ecosystem. Its BNB token lost $8 to $208, leaving it 12% down over seven days.

Cardano is an open source network facilitating dApps which considers itself to be an updated version of Ethereum. Its ADA token, designed to allow owners to participate in the operation of the network, fell more than 2 cents to below 47c yet is 1% up over the course of a week.

The XRP token of Ripple, a payment settlement asset exchange and remittance system, acts as a bridge for transfers between other currencies. XRP shed 1c to below 32c and its price is 2% down on seven days ago.

Solana is a blockchain built to make decentralised finance accessible on a larger scale – and capable of processing 50,000 transactions per second. Its SOL token climbed $1.50 to $32.30 and is 16% up compared with a week ago.

Meme coin DOGE was created as a satire on the hype surrounding cryptocurrencies but is now a major player in the space. DOGE climbed from 5.7c to 5.8c, leaving it 1% down in a week. 

Polkadot was founded by the Swiss-based Web3 Foundation as an open-source project to develop a decentralised web. Its DOT token, which aims to securely connect blockchains, added 10c to $7.36 and is 6% up on its price a week ago.

Avalanche is a lightning-quick verifiable platform for institutions, enterprises and governments. Its AVAX token fell more than 50c to $15.62 and is 2% down in a week.

To see how the valuations of the main coins have changed in recent times – and for round-ups of recent cryptocurrency news developments – click here.

For valuations of the top 100 coins by market cap in US dollars, plus 24-hour price change, see below.