A selloff in Bitcoin accelerated Tuesday, pushing it below $30,000 for the first time in about a month, and other virtual currencies retreated as a global market selloff spurred by concerns over the delta variant of COVID-19 sparked a rush to old-school paper bonds and gold.
Stocks related to cryptocurrencies also declined, extending Monday's losses.
At last check, Bitcoin was down 3.8% at $29,494, while Ethereum, the world’s second-biggest digital currency, was down 3.95% at $1,741.10. XRP was down 6.3%, Cardano was down 7.98% and Stellar was down 6.58%. Meme token currency Dogecoin was down 5.1%.
Cryptocurrency-exposed stocks were also down in premarket trading Tuesday, extending Monday’s losses, with Coinbase (COIN) down 2.3%, Marathon Digital (MARA) - Get Report down 7.2%, Riot Blockchain (RIOT) - Get Report down 6.39% and MicroStrategy (MSTR) - Get Report down 4.56%.
Stocks plunged and Treasury yields surged Monday as investors reassessed both the U.S. and global economic outlook and the prospects for corporate earnings amid the rapid surge in the delta variant of COVID-19, which has caused infections to skyrocket in the U.K. and other parts of Europe as well as in the U.S.
While Bitcoin and other digital currencies have been viewed by some as a safe place to park capital amid broader economic uncertainty and market volatility, Bitcoin’s lagging performance this year as well as questions surrounding how cryptocurrencies are priced has pushed values considerably lower. Year to date Bitcoin has declined 2%.
Officials around the world are also intensifying scrutiny of cryptocurrencies. On Monday, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen pushed top U.S. financial regulators to accelerate their consideration of new rules to police so-called stablecoins.
The creator of meme-token Dogecoin in a series of tweets also recently threw shade both at his own creation and its recent meteoric rise as well as crypto overall.
“I applaud those with the energy to continue asking the hard questions and applying the lens of rigorous skepticism all technology should be subject to,” Dogecoin creator Jackson Palmer wrote. "New technology can make the world a better place, but not when decoupled from its inherent politics or societal consequences."