Cryptocurrencies have been in freefall overnight and it’s far from certain they’ve found a floor, leaving hundreds of thousands of traders with huge losses and causing enthusiasts to consider the gloomy possibility that the crypto bull run has suddenly ended.

Bitcoin plunged by about US$6,000 in the space of several hours last night to reach a four-month nadir of $US31,663 at 11.10pm — representing a whopping 51.1 per cent retracement from its all-time high set just five weeks ago.

The original cryptocurrency then recouped most of its losses, trading over US$40,000 around 3am, but has been trending back down this morning. At 11.20am AEST it was at US$36,350 ($47,300) — down 15 per cent in the last 24 hours and 28.3 per cent in the last seven days.

Ethereum dropped below US$2000 also around 11 last night. A half-day later it was changing hands for US$2,257 ($2,975), down 31 per cent from 24 hours ago and 49 per cent from its all-time high.

Every major cryptocurrency (except stablecoins) was down by double-digits, with many falling 30 and 40 per cent in the past 24 hours. Fantom was the worst hit, falling 44.1 per cent. Controversial coins SafeMoon and Shiba Inu had also retraced over 40 per cent, while Dogecoin had fallen 28 per cent to US32c and Cardano was down 22 per cent to US$1.47.

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Over 851,000 cryptocurrency derivatives traders had been “rekt” in the past 24 hours, according to Bybt, with US$9.2 billion in value wiped out. That’s the most since a sharp pullback on April 18 liquidated one million traders holding positions worth a total of US$10 billion ($13 billion).

(These traders were using futures contracts to leverage their potential gains, but instead lost their entire positions – and in some cases, their entire accounts – when the market moved against them).

Among the carnage, Elon Musk posted a tweet that left some crypto influencers incredulous, given that the pullback was started and then accelerated by his other posts.

It wasn’t clear if the crypto bull market was over or not. In the 2017 bull run there were big crypto pullbacks in September and November, and the market bounced back from each to go parabolic in early to mid-December (before finally collapsing late that month and in early January). But this drop was even  more savage than those.


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