On Monday morning, the potential default of the world’s most-valuable real estate developer on $300 billion of debt sent Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies sliding, renewing panic about how the collapse of one company could wield far-reaching effects on the Chinese and global economy.
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Bitcoin slumped to $43,442 on Monday, dipping 8.11%, as discouraging news about the Chinese real estate company Evergrande set off a panicked selling spree among traders. In the past day alone, the cryptocurrency dropped to as low as $42,527 while Ethereum dipped 9.94% to $3,012.
The deepening debt crisis plaguing the company is linked to its inability to pay interest payments on loans due Monday, on top of $84 million of interest payments on company bonds scheduled for this week. On Sunday, the world’s most indebted company announced it was repaying some investors with real estate instead.
“These concerns around what’s going on with Evergrande and China and a possible default there are having spillover effects into the European markets,” Mike Bell, a strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management in the U.K. told the New York Times.
“Could you get more volatility over the next month or two? Yes, that’s certainly possible,” Bell said. It’s likely, for example, that Evergrande’s expanding debt could impact other industries and continue roiling the markets in the coming weeks.
In response to the news, the Dow Jones Industrial Average futures decreased 1.83% or 629 points, while S&P 500 futures dipped 1.67% and Nasdaq’s slid 1.66%. In Asia, too, Evergrande's shares dropped by over 10% on Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index, renewing concerns about the spread of panic and contagion, as the Asian index slumped to its lowest point in almost a year, dipping by three percent.