Bitcoin, Ethereum, LiteCoin, and practically every other cryptocurrency (including the meme-driven Dogecoin) sustained heavy losses during trading on 19 May. Bitcoin had lost some 12.47% by 16:00 GMT, but dropped as low as 32,600 per token, losing nearly 24% by around 13:00 GMT. Ethereum fared even worse, losing 39.41% day-on-day by around 13:00 GMT, but just like Bitcoin, it partially rebounded, reducing the losses to 18.57% by 16:00 GMT.
At the lowest point on the market, LiteCoin dropped by 47.88%, Dogecoin lost half of its value, sliding down to $0.238 per token (after going as high as $0.72 just 10 days ago). XRP dove by 45.57% at one point, while Cardano dropped by 47.07%.
Like other coins, they partially rebounded in the following hours. Still, according to some estimates the cryptocurrency market, which has been booming in recent months, lost around $1 trillion in capitalisation.
This marks the steepest drop in the recent bearish trend on the crypto-market, which intensified following comments made by businessman and tech mogul Elon Musk, who announced on 12 May that Tesla would stop its newly established practice of accepting Bitcoin as a payment method. The businessman said that Bitcoin has a major impact on climate change due to the huge amounts of electricity used to mine it.
However, despite speculation of the opposite, Musk said on 19 May, ahead of the market drop, that Tesla had not sold its huge sum of BTC, which it bought earlier this year for a whopping $1.5 billion.
To clarify speculation, Tesla has not sold any Bitcoin— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 17, 2021
His remarks, however, did not stop netizens from suggesting that the major market drop happened because of Musk's online activities, which have on more than one occasion appeared to push the value of Dogecoin and Bitcoin up and down this year.
Elon musk in crypto today 💔😂🤦 pic.twitter.com/fSwosolndb— MOH__SIRLEES (@MUHAMMAD__SIR) May 19, 2021
At the same time, the sharp crypto-market dive coincided with an announcement by Beijing that it would be prohibiting the country's financial organisations from conducting operations with cryptocurrencies, thus effectively banning their legal circulation in China. The country's authorities had warned about such a possibility in the past.