Cryptocurrency in the red as Ethereum breaks below US$1,500 and Musk ditches Bitcoin

The crypto markets stayed above US$1tln heading into Thursday, although the strong gains achieved earlier in the week were chipped away at with a 3.96% day-on-day drop.

Amid selling pressure, Bitcoin fell 3.42% to US$22,860 while Ethereum shed 5.82%, dragging the coin below the US$1,500 support line.

Ripple’s XRP payment token dropped over 6%, while large-cap blockchains Cardano, Solana and Polygon and Avalanche all fell by more than 9% in the past 24 hours.

Of the few daily risers, privacy coin Monero was the most bullish with a 2.31% upshot, bringing its market cap above US$2.7bln.

In the decentralised finance (DeFi) space, total cross-protocol volumes declined 2.01% to US$83.75bln, thanks in part to decentralised exchange (DEX) Uniswap’s sharp 9.81% price drop.

Despite the sluggish Thursday, the Crypto Fear & Greed Index has stayed out of the “extreme fear” sentiment zone after a record 73-day streak came to an end on Wednesday.

In the news

Tesla’s mixed bag of a second-quarter earnings report disclosed that Elon Musk’s electric vehicle company sold 75% of its Bitcoin holdings to the tune of US$936mln.

 It “should not be taken as some verdict on Bitcoin,” Musk told shareholders, citing the need for overall liquidity due to bottlenecked manufacturing output.

Despite the Bitcoin dump, Musk said he remains long in Dogecoin, though it wasn’t enough to encourage a meme coin rally.

Crypto contagion could still be spreading, after the Singapore-based exchange Zipmex announced a complete freeze on all user funds.

Echoing the likes of bankrupt lenders Celsius, Vauld and others, Zipmex Tweeted: “Due to a combination of circumstances beyond our control including volatile market conditions, and the resulting financial difficulties of our key business partners, to maintain the integrity of our platform, we would be pausing withdrawals until further notice.”