Bitcoin Set for Biggest Quarterly Drop in More Than a Decade

Bitcoin is on track for its worst quarter in more than a decade, as hawkish central banks and a string of high-profile crypto blowups hammer sentiment.

The 58% plunge in the biggest cryptocurrency is the largest since the third quarter of 2011, when Bitcoin was still in its infancy, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The decade in between those hallmarks featured several booms and busts, with the market value of all tokens swelling to a peak of $3 trillion last November as they gained more widespread adoption and ultra-low interest rates spurred risk taking. The current bear market, however, stands out for the amount of crypto leverage that’s been unwound — and for the regulatory scrutiny being heaped on an asset class many central banks now consider a threat to financial stability.

That total market figure now stands at around $900 billion, pummeled by a quarter in which the burgeoning Terra crypto ecosystem collapsed close to zero, and a mounting liquidity crunch caused several prominent companies to border on insolvency. Even some of crypto’s best funded companies announced swaths of layoffs, while Bitcoin’s current trading levels have seen it floating back and forth over the $20,000 mark for a number of weeks.