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DUBAI: Bitcoin, the leading cryptocurrency internationally, traded lower on Sunday, falling by 0.23 percent to $21,197.99 as of 8 a.m. Riyadh time.

Ethereum, the second most traded cryptocurrency, was priced at $1,583.38 falling by 3.90 percent, according to data from Coindesk.

Bitcoin drops to a three-week low after a sudden crypto drop

Several crypto assets fell sharply on Friday, with Bitcoin reaching a three-week low as a result of sudden selling, with analysts divided over the reasons behind the decrease, Reuters reported. 

As GlobalBlock analyst Marcus Sotiriou noted in a research note, the heavy selling was not triggered by a single catalyst.

He said: “But the S&P 500 rejecting and failing to continue its recovery contributed to Bitcoin’s drop.” Early Friday afternoon, the S&P 500 was down around 1 percent.

The move, according to Susannah Streeter, senior investment and markets analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, resulted from a large sale transaction.

“It’s not showing the pattern of a flash crash, as the assets didn’t immediately rebound sharply but sank even lower in the hours that followed,” she said.

Cardano seemed to be the first cryptocurrency to move, followed by bitcoin and ether, and then other altcoins like Dogecoin.

Despite Federal Reserve rate hikes and ultrahigh inflation, cryptocurrency prices have plummeted this year.

The inability of Bitcoin to recover its losses, according to Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at Oanda, “suggests that there is substance behind the move.” It was the worst day for it since June’s collapse after Friday’s move.

“Speculating in cryptocurrencies is extremely high risk and is not suitable for the vast majority of people,” Streeter said. 

Japan’s SBI withdraws from Russia’s crypto mining industry

The largest online brokerage in Japan, SBI Holdings, is shutting down its crypto mining business in the Russian Federation, according to Bitcoin.com. 

The financial firm is planning to sell its equipment and withdraw due to mounting uncertainty over the future of such investments caused by the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

According to Bitcoin.com, low-cost power and suitable climate made Russia an attractive destination for cryptocurrency miners when China cracked down in May 2021.

Bitcoin mining, among other Russian industries, has been affected by sanctions imposed over Moscow’s attack on Ukraine this year.

A representative of SBI, the largest online broker in Japan, told Bloomberg that the Russian-Ukrainian conflict has created uncertainty around the mining business in the energy-rich region, while the crypto market’s downturn has made minting digital currencies less profitable.

Hideyuki Katsuchi, the company’s chief financial officer, announced that it plans to sell its equipment in Russia and withdraw from the country.

In the second quarter, SBI registered a $72 million pre-tax loss from its crypto business due to negative developments that led to a loss of over $15.8 million, a first in a decade for the group. SBI entered the digital asset space earlier than other Japanese financial firms.

 

With inputs from Reuters