Altcoin Plunge Leads Crypto Lower; Bitcoin Slips 0.7% to $29,150

Traditional markets fell sharply as well, with the major U.S. stock indexes shedding more than 1% on Tuesday.

AccessTimeIconAug 15, 2023 at 8:44 p.m. UTC
Updated Aug 15, 2023 at 9:52 p.m. UTC

Cryptocurrencies were broadly lower after a sharp mid-afternoon selloff Tuesday upended what had been a mostly quiet session.

Leading the CoinDesk Market Index's (CMI) 1.3% decline were altcoins such as Ripple's (XRP), Dogecoin (DOGE), Polkadot's (DOT), Polygon's (MATIC) and Uniswap's (UNI), each sporting losses of more than 4% over the past 24 hours. Outperforming were the crypto majors bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH), both of which managed declines of less than 1%.

Perhaps hitting crypto were some macro jitters as this morning's U.S. retail sales report for July came in far stronger than expected. The Atlanta Fed's GDPNow model – updated to include the retail sales data – is now forecasting speedy 5% U.S. GDP growth in the third quarter, hardly the sort of economy which would require the Fed to halt interest rate hikes, or even begin to start thinking about rate cuts.

"Cryptos are sinking as the bond market selloff resumes, sending global bond yields higher as the risk of more central bank tightening grows," OANDA Senior Market Analyst Ed Moya told CoinDesk. "The end of tightening was expected to be here and now it seems like that might not be the case."

The Nasdaq, S&P 500, and Dow Jones Industrial Average each fell more than 1% on Thursday following the economic news, with the 10-year and 30-year U.S. Treasury rates each rising to fresh 2023 highs.

Crypto winter continues

While crypto appears to have at least somewhat stabilized in 2023, bear market conditions continue as prices and trading activity remain muted. The Block earlier Thursday reported on more departures at market maker GSR, including at the executive level where Chief Financial Officer Jonathan Hugh has left the company. "Our business operations and strategy have naturally evolved to respond to changing market conditions," a GSR spokesperson said.

The company last October had cut about 10% of what was then a 300-person staff.

Edited by Nick Baker.


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