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Multiple cryptocurrency coins stacked on top of each-other (Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, zcash, ripple)
Money; Shutterstock

The latest crash in the price of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies may be remembered as the moment that crypto-mania fever broke, according to several market followers.

The price of Bitcoin fell as low as $33,000 Monday, wiping more than half the value from its peak around $69,000 in November 2021. The overall value of cryptocurrencies is down to $1.52 trillion and falling from more than $3 trillion in early November, according to Web site CoinMarketCap.

Cryptocurrencies were sent into a tailspin by the Federal Reserve’s decision to signal up-coming interest rate hikes in December. Strategists say the speed and scale of the losses, which have wiped out more than $1 trillion in notional wealth in a matter of weeks, echo the pop of the Dot-com bubble in 2000.

For many who have witnessed previous financial bubbles popping, the signs appear to be there. Violent rallies are giving way to even more violent selloffs. Fear of missing out has suddenly given way to fear of being exposed. Talk of a new era — in this case, advocates dubbed cryptocurrencies and related technologies “Web3” — are suddenly ringing hollow.

Even the recovery in cryptocurrency prices from a previous crash in mid-2021 is consistent with the end of a speculative era. Often, such speculation ends more like a heavyweight prize fight. The asset may be knocked down several times, and return to its feet, before the decisive knockout. In mid-2000, for example, the Nasdaq Composite battled back from bear-market territory only to slide further into it later in the year.