Bitcoin’s price fell below the $40,000 threshold this week after crypto market prices plunged in the wake of the Russian central bank’s proposal to ban cryptocurrencies in the country.
Bitcoin was trading down by more than 8% on Friday January 21 as the month continues to see cryptocurrencies across the board struggle to return to higher price thresholds in 2022 amid global market uncertainty over crypto risks.
As of 1.37pm on Friday, Bitcoin’s price was fluctuating at around $38,283.21 (£28,201.60) in an almost 10% fall on the last 24 hours.
Ethereum, Solana and more major digital currencies and meme coins were trading down on Friday, with Coinbase estimating cryptocurrency market prices to be down 11.4% on the last 24 hours as of 6.08pm.
Concerns over cryptocurrency risk for consumers and markets prompted the Russian central bank to propose a ban on cryptocurrencies and crypto exchanges, while the UK Government announced on Tuesday (January 18) that it plans to legislate to address a rise in misleading cryptoasset adverts.
The downward slide in crypto prices suggests that the crash which pushed down prices in early January, as Kosovo clamped down on mining and Kazakhstan’s crypto mining empire took a hit during political unrest, could be set to continue.
Here’s why crypto is down today, what caused the latest cryptocurrency market crash and the latest prices of Bitcoin, Ethereum, Solana, Cardano, XRP, Shiba Inu coin and Dogecoin.
What is Bitcoin’s price today?
On Friday January 21, Bitcoin’s price sharply fell after trading at approximately $43,511.99 as of 4pm on Thursday.
The world’s largest cryptocurrency was trading at around $40,000 in the early hours of Friday morning, shedding almost $3,000 regained since early January this week, before dipping below the $40,000 threshold shortly before 2am UK time.
As of 6.10pm on Friday, Bitcoin’s price was down by 9% on the last 24 hours and fluctuating at around $38,412.93 (£28,334.10).
According to data collected by CoinMarketCap, however, Bitcoin is seeing increased trading activity on Friday evening – with its 24 hour trading volume up
122.75% as of 6.10pm at $37,185,577,576 as investors buy the dip.
Over the past few weeks, Bitcoin’s price has been fluctuating mostly between $40,000 and $45,000 – hitting a recent high of $52,100 on December 27.
The major cryptocurrency’s price has seen recent gains of almost $15,000 were wiped off the board for Bitcoin after it came the closest it ever has to reaching a new landmark threshold of $70,000 in November.
Why is crypto down today?
Bitcoin’s price enjoyed a bullish rise to near $70,000 in value in early November as investors hoped to see the cryptocurrency’s $1 trillion market cap remain firmly in place ahead of a volatile trading period.
But it’s plummet below $50,000 came in late 2021 as US and UK markets struggled to contend with renewed concerns over the impact of Covid-19, the Omicron variant and high inflation.
Bitcoin’s price fell in early January after a sharp sell-off ensued on the Nasdaq index on Wednesday January 5, as the US central bank looked poised to lurch away from its coronavirus pandemic monetary policies with interest rate hikes and a potential cut to securities in order to shrink its balance sheet.
500 points were wiped from the tech-heavy Nasdaq index following the release of minutes from the US Federal Reserve’s latest meeting in December – in which “expectations for a reduction in policy accommodation shifted forward notably”.
But the cryptocurrency also took a major hit as crypto mining operations in Kazakhstan, which have proliferated since China outlawed cryptocurrency mining in the country, went down during in a nationwide internet outage.
Bitcoin’s price dip to below $40,000 on Friday January 21 came after Russia’s central bank published a consultation paper on Thursday entitled Cryptocurrencies: Trends, Risks and Regulation which warned that ‘growth of cryptocurrencies use creates threats for Russian retail investors, financial stability
and threats associated with the use of cryptocurrencies for illicit activities’.
The report cited estimates that cryptocurrency transactions among Russian citizens totals up to $5 billion a year.
In particular, the report focused on the threats of cryptocurrency’s high volatility and instability for individual citizens, as well as its fraudulent and criminal usage.
However, the Russian central bank also likened the global growth of cryptocurrencies in Russia to ‘dollarisation’, stating that ‘cryptoisation limites monetary policy sovereignty, which might force central bank to permanently maintain a higher key rate to contain inflation’.
It added that ‘the spread of cryptocurrencies could make people withdraw their savings from the Russian financial sector and, subsequently, decrease its capability to finance the real sector and potential economic growth reducing the number of jobs and potential for household income increase.’
Meanwhile, the UK Government outlined a tougher approach to crypto-asset promotion and advertising in a statement earlier this week.
As the Government announced plans to create new legislation to clamp down on misleading cryptoasset advertising across the UK, Chancellor Rishi Sunak said:
“Cryptoassets can provide exciting new opportunities, offering people new ways to transact and invest – but it’s important that consumers are not being sold products with misleading claims.
"We are ensuring consumers are protected, while also supporting innovation of the cryptoasset market.”
Cryptocurrency market prices today
With cryptocurrencies often moving in tandem with Bitcoin, Ethereum, the cryptocurrency synonymous with the rising crypto trend of NFTs, was trading down by
13% on Friday after hitting a new record high of almost $5,000 in early November.
Ethereum’s price has dipped below its new $3,000 threshold and was trading at $2,794.69 (£2,061.81) at 6.12pm on Friday, in a further 13% fall on the last 24 hours.
The hype surrounding popular memecoin Dogecoin has likewise been fluctuating in recent months as new alt and meme coins have stolen the spotlight.
Dogecoin’s price was trading down by approximately 8% on the last 24 hours at $0.15 (£0.11) on Friday evening.
Shiba Inu coin, the so-called ‘Dogecoin killer’, was trading 12.8% down on the last 24 hours at $0.00002500 (£0.00001850) as of 6.15pm on Friday.
Meanwhile, Cardano (ADA) prices are fluctuating around $1.21 (£0.89) in 12% fall on the last 24 hours, XRP was down 10.55% at $0.68 (£0.50) and Solana was down by 11% at $124.95 (£91.95) as of 6.19pm on Friday.
When was the last crypto crash?
In June, the Chinese Government cracked down on considerable crypto mining operations taking place in the Sichuan province and demanded that Chinese banks and payment channels stop supporting decentralised and anonymous crypto transactions.
This saw Bitcoin prices tumble to below $30,000 in a dramatic plummet from its soaring success.
The cryptocurrency has continued to rise and fall as other global administrations and regulators mull legislation to curb increased crypto activity often attributed to laundering and crime.
Following the Chinese state’s move, countries like South Korea also pledged to tackle the rise in money laundering taking place via cryptocurrency, while the Metropolitan Police announced that it had successfully closed in on a huge UK cryptocurrency money-laundering operation.
July saw the Met seize a cryptocurrency operation valued at £180million in the UK’s largest cryptocurrency seizure to date.
Cryptocurrency exchange platforms such as Binance have since been feeling the heat across the world as regulators and governments began to turn the screws on the operations of such platforms in the wake of crypto’s global crackdown.
The result of this saw Bitcoin’s highest prices sliced in half in June, with the coin struggling to break out of the low to mid $30k price range until it received a welcome boost from Tesla CEO Elon Musk in his appearance at major Bitcoin conference in July.
The bullish rise and increased confidence in Bitcoin could see it remain at prices fluctuating between $60,000 and $70,000 in future, but with increased resistance as it looks toward a $100,000 price prediction for the year ahead in 2022.