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Bitcoin prices tumble 50% from peak and Mark Cuban calls the crypto crash the ‘great unwind’

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Bitcoin prices on Sunday afternoon were in free fall anew, with the world’s No.1 crypto spiraling down more than 50% from a peak in around the middle of April, amid another bout of turbulence in the digital-asset sector.

At last check, bitcoin prices
BTCUSD,
+4.81%

were changing hands at $32,632 down 12% on the day, after hitting a 24-hour low of $31,179, which halved bitcoin from a mid-April peak at $64,829.14.

Ether on the Ethereum blockchain
ETHUSD,
+4.49%
,
meanwhile, was seeing an even more severe slump, down at one point 18% at $1,922 on the session and down by nearly 60% from its all-time high hit earlier this month at $4,382.73. It was last down 13% at 2,033.

The weekend carnage in crypto was drawing the attention of bulls and market participants, including billionaire Mark Cuban, who appeared to partly pin the slump on excess leverage and speculation on alternatives to bitcoin.

Popular meme asset, dogecoin
DOGEUSD,
+4.24%
,
was changing hands at 29 cents, down 60% from its all-time high at around 74.07 cents earlier this month.

The slide for crypto extends a drop that has taken hold over the past several days, underlined by fears of irrational exuberance in parts of the digital-asset market and concerns about intensifying regulation on the nascent sector.

The declines, however, have perhaps inflicted more damage on new investors.

However, to put the declines in greater context, bitcoin is still up 16% so far this year (it had been up more than 100% in the year to date), Ether is up 175% so far in 2021, and dogecoin is up more than 5,800% thus far in the year.

Read: Why is crypto crashing? Will bitcoin prices ever recover? Here’s what traders and investors say

China on Friday underscored its intent to crack down on digital assets and the U.S. Treasury Department said it planned to enforce anti-money-laundering rules and request that crypto transactions of $10,000 be reported to the government.

One popular measure of anxieties in the crypto market, the fear and greed index was at 14, indicating extreme fear, after touching a level of greed last month at 55.

Unease festering in digital assets may also bleed over in to stocks too, with equity benchmarks, including the Dow Jones Industrial Average
DJIA,
+0.36%
,
the S&P 500 index
SPX,
-0.08%

and the Nasdaq Composite Index
COMP,
-0.48%
,
seeing choppy trade in recent action.

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