Cryptocurrency has been one of the most talked-about investment instruments for millennials and Gen Z. During the last five years, digital tokens have multiplied the investor’s wealth. Lately, these tokens have been under tremendous selling pressure owing to unstable macro indicators. It is also attributed to a stricter regulatory stance by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). The once cheery investors can now be seen venting their discontent on social media platforms.
Tracking cryptocurrencies over the last five years
As of July 7, 2022, Bitcoin was trading at $20,528. Compared to this, on July 7, 2017, the price of Bitcoin was near $2,500. This shows an eight-fold rise in the price of the token. However, the picture might not be this black and white. Since its peak of $67,566 in November 2021, the largest cryptocurrency has seen its market cap erode by around $880 billion or nearly 70 per cent of the investors’ wealth.
Ethereum was trading at $245.99 on July 7, 2017. The second-largest digital token by market cap hit its peak of $4,800 on November 8, 2021. Today it is trading at $1,182.40.
A similar story can be seen in BNB, which debuted in July 2017. From its price of $0.11, BNB rallied to $675.68 in May 2021 and then again to $654.32 in November 2021. However, on July 7, 2022, it was trading at $237.57, over 60 per cent below its all-time high.
XRP was trading at $0.2550 on July 7, 2017. It rose to $3.3778, an all-time high in January 2018 but fell below $0.30 by September 2018. It took three years to surpass the $1-mark. In April 2021, it hit a $1.83
Dogecoin, which reportedly has Elon Musk as one of its major investors, rose from $0.00244 in July 2017 to $0.6848 in May 2021. Currently, it is trading at $0.06869.
What do the numbers tell us?
The market data indicates that almost all the major cryptocurrencies touched an all-time high peak sometime in 2021 and have declined since then. It has been months now since the crypto investors enjoyed considerable gains. The situation is tougher for the investors who entered the crypto market at the onset of 2021.
Why are cryptocurrencies falling?
The fall does not have one particular reason. The Indian government and the RBI have not been keen on cryptocurrencies for years. The RBI imposed an outright ban on ‘private cryptocurrencies’ in 2018. The Supreme Court of India later lifted the ban in 2020.
In her budget speech, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman imposed a 30 per cent tax on the gains from the transfer of all cryptocurrencies. She also announced a 1 per cent TDS on the transfer of digital tokens. The rule came into effect on July 1, 2022.
Apart from this, inflation across the globe has been rising. The ongoing Russia-Ukraine war has accentuated the situation. Several countries have hit multi-year high levels of inflation. To control it, the central banks have started raising interest rates to absorb the liquidity in the market. This has also sucked out money from the crypto markets.
The governments have also been worried about the potential use of cryptocurrency by terrorist organisations and hackers. While predicting the future is a hazardous business, it does look bleak for cryptocurrencies.
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