Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency by market value, traded at about $35,300 as of 4:15 p.m. It earlier touched $34,042.77, representing a loss of more than 50% from its all-time high last November. And it’s not alone: As crypto traders reacted this week hawkish signals from the Fed as well as fresh regulatory hints by the White House and the threat of an outright ban in Russia, the declines in Ether — the second-largest token — and in newer coins have outpaced Bitcoin’s fall.
Over the past seven trading days, Bitcoin has shed around 20% of its value compared with nearly 30% for Ether. Solana’s SOL and DeFi-play Avalanche’s AVAX token have fallen nearly 38% each. And the wipeout in memecoins has been profound: Dogecoin is down 30% on the week while Shiba Inu is off 38%, according to CoinMarketCap.
Crypto “is a risk asset up and down,” Starkiller Capital’s Leigh Drogen said in a Bloomberg TV interview with Caroline Hyde. “It’s even more of a risk asset now that most of the crypto market cap is Ethereum, Solana and all sorts of other stuff that is just basically technology where we’re pulling forward massive assumptions of global growth into the present.”
A key technical to watch is the ratio of Ether to Bitcoin, according to Amy Wu Silverman of RBC Capital Markets. After trading above 0.07 for several months, Ether has dropped to the lowest level relative to Bitcoin since October. It was recently at 0.069.
“Now, it’s officially a risk-off correction across the board,” Wu Silverman wrote in a note on Saturday. “There is nowhere to hide.”
The next level to watch is 0.055, according to Wu Silverman. “Watch the ETH/BTC ratio from .055-.088,” she wrote. “The .055 MUST HOLD.”
Ether’s slide relative to the world’s biggest cryptocurrency also caught the eye of Noelle Acheson, head of market insights at Genesis Global Trading Inc. To her, it’s a reminder that Ether is even more vulnerable to macro-driven swings of risk appetite than Bitcoin.
“This reminds us that BTC is a risk asset that is getting hit in the risk-off sentiment, but that ETH is even more so (it has lost over 40% of its value over the past 30 days!),” Acheson wrote in an email. “It is definitely strange to see BTC a strong outperformer today.”