Bitcoin drops below $19,000 as crypto market cap surrenders $1 trillion mark

Quick Take

  • Bitcoin dropped to $18,794 on Wednesday. as the global crypto market cap slipped below $1 trillion. 
  • Ether was trading down as well, flirting with $1,500.

Bitcoin traded below $19,000 on Wednesday while the price of ether flirted with $1,500 as crypto tracked traditional financial markets lower.

At the time of publication, bitcoin is trading at $18,794 on Coinbase, down about 5.9% over the past 24 hours, per data from the exchange.

Wednesday's losses bring bitcoin back within range of its 2022 low of $17,600, which it hit in June amid the crypto credit crisis as Three Arrows Capital collapsed and lending platforms faced liquidity issues.

Ether's losses over the past 24 hours are even greater than bitcoin's as it trades at $1,518, having dropped 8.6%, per Coinbase data.

Traders had bid up Ethereum's native asset over the past few weeks, ahead of The Merge, but the token is now falling in line with broader financial markets despite the network's imminent switch to proof of stake consensus. 

The global crypto market cap was trading below $1 trillion again on Wednesday, having flirted with this level at various points throughout August. It currently sits at $987 billion, per CoinGecko data.

James Malcolm, head of fx strategy at UBS, told The Block via email the move illustrates several points. Namely, institutional adoption requires much more time and regulatory clarity; "the BlackRock news over the summer was neither catalytic nor symptomatic."

While also noting that bitcoin is "inescapably a risk asset, so can't diverge far from equities." It requires a positive macro environment to go up, while equities are easier, safer and better – offer better yield – to hold in vol-adjusted terms, Malcolm said. 

This article was update to include commentary on the price action in crypto markets.

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