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Bitcoin Is Now Vulnerable to a Tumble Below $14,000 as Crypto Faces FTX Fallout

Bitcoin prices already were underwater this year before FTX’s collapse.

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Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

The shocking failure of cryptocurrency exchange FTX last week continues to hang over
Bitcoin
and other digital assets, with cryptos vulnerable to even further declines after already breaching key technical price levels.

The price of Bitcoin was rising slightly over the past 24 hours to $16,800. The largest cryptocurrency was changing hands near $21,000 just over a week ago, before concerns around FTX began in earnest, but has recovered from lows near $15,500 reached in the trough of last week’s panic selling.

“Cryptos remain very vulnerable, not just to the fallout from FTX—the full extent of which remains a cloud of uncertainty over the industry—but also to what else may be uncovered as the environment becomes ever more challenging,” said Craig Erlam, an analyst at broker Oanda. “Bitcoin is fighting back this morning but it remains very much on the ropes.”

FTX, once one of the largest trading venues in the industry, declared bankruptcy last Friday along with more than a hundred other firms that made up Sam Bankman-Fried’s crypto empire, including Alameda Research, one of the largest crypto market makers. 

The sudden collapse of FTX came after speculation of deep losses at Alameda and concerns—which were borne out—that this could cause trouble at the related exchange. As customers raced to withdraw assets, FTX faced a liquidity crunch and, despite attempts to put together a rescue takeover, quickly went bust. 

FTX’s failure leaves it with likely more than a million creditors and has sent shockwaves across crypto, with Bitcoin falling to two-year lows and the industry fearful that the situation could prompt severe new scrutiny from regulators.

More immediately, the stress on crypto markets has plunged digital assets below key levels. A correlation with stocks—which has emerged this year amid a tough macro outlook of high inflation and rising interest rates—has done little to help, with cryptos flailing even as the
Dow Jones Industrial Average
and
S&P 500
 have recently rallied.

“Long-term momentum [for Bitcoin] remains strongly negative,” noted Katie Stockton, managing partner at technical research firm Fairlead Strategies. 

The leading crypto last week closed below a long-term support level of $18,300, Stockton said, and if Bitcoin can’t get back above this price point it would mark a confirmed breakdown and make it vulnerable to much deeper losses.

“A confirmed breakdown would minimize the counter-trend signals and support an intermediate-term bearish bias,” Stockton said. “Downside risk would increase to secondary support of ~$13,900.”

Beyond Bitcoin,
Ether
—the second-largest token—was less than 1% higher to $1,250. Smaller cryptos or altcoins were slightly stronger, with
Solana
and
Cardano
both rising 2%. Memecoins were weaker, with
Dogecoin
and
Shiba Inu
each down less than 1%.

Write to Jack Denton at jack.denton@barrons.com

Credit: marketwatch.com

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