Major digital assets plunged as the working day began in Hong Kong on Friday.
Bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH) both fell more than 5% as customers fled cryptobank Silvergate, whose stock fell 58% in US trading on Thursday. Most of the other 10 largest cryptocurrencies by market capitalization saw declines similar to those of BTC and ETH.
“Institutions are a little nervous as Silvergate appears to be in trouble,” Nick Ruck of ContentFi, a Web3 venture studio, said in a note to CoinDesk. Ruck also pointed to the release of some of the Mt. Gox’s bitcoin, which would increase its circulating supply, as another source of volatility.
The rapid selling took a toll on major crypto exchange Coinbase, which began experiencing connectivity issues at 10:20am Hong Kong time. Other major crypto exchanges, including Binance, Bitfinex, Kucoin, OKX and Kraken, did not report similar issues.
Bitcoin’s price fell to an intraday low of $22,020 as Asia’s opening hours began, after being roughly steady at $23,500 for most of the past day. It appeared to rise slightly, turning to just below $22,400 after its dip.
Ether saw a similar pattern, falling to $1,550 after spending the last day hovering around $1,650 with limited change.
Bitcoin’s market cap fell by over $20 billion to $431.9 billion, according to CoinMarketCap. Crypto’s total market cap is $1.07 trillion. Open interest in bitcoin futures fell 8.8% in the past four hours, according to Coinglass. Open interest in ether fell 5%.
UPDATE (March 3, 2023, 02:45 UTC): Adds additional details.