Bitcoin Drops Below $68K, Ether Slumps in Sudden Crypto Sell-Off as ETH ETF Decision Looms

The sell-off was broad-based, with DOGE, SHIB, AVAX, LINK diving more than 4% in less than an hour.

AccessTimeIconMay 23, 2024 at 2:36 p.m. UTC
Updated May 24, 2024 at 4:26 a.m. UTC
  • A trading firm's $27 million sell order for ether could have triggered the decline, one market observer speculated.
  • A rampant U.S. dollar after a PMI report showed a red-hot U.S. economy may have accelerated the drop.

Cryptocurrency prices took a hit Thursday as market participants waited for a U.S. regulatory decision on spot ether (ETH) exchange-traded funds.

Bitcoin (BTC) dropped below $68,000 during the early U.S. trading session from around $70,000 earlier in the day, sliding almost 3% over the past 24 hours.

ETH, which surged to its highest price since mid-March to above $3,900 early Thursday, tumbled to near $3,700, but was still in the green over the past 24 hours.

The sell-off rippled through the broader digital asset market, with the CoinDesk 20 Index (CD20) declining over 2%. Altcoin majors dogecoin (DOGE), Avalanche's native token (AVAX), shiba inu (SHIB) and Chainlink's (LINK) all fell more than 4% in less than an hour, CoinDesk data shows.

While the sell-off started earlier, a fresh S&P Purchasing Managers' Index report showed a red-hot U.S economy, with output growing at the fastest pace in two years. That drove a surge in the dollar as traders tamped down interest-rate cut expectations, which might have exacerbated the drop in risk assets. The broad-market equity index S&P 500 fell 0.6% from its opening price.

One observer noted that the crypto decline could have been triggered by a large ETH sell order from trading firm Symbolic Capital Partner. Blockchain data showed the firm sold 6,968 ETH worth $27.4 million within a minute.

Edited by Sheldon Reback.


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Krisztian  Sandor

Krisztian Sandor is a reporter on the U.S. markets team focusing on stablecoins and institutional investment. He holds BTC and ETH.