Bitcoin is approaching bear market territory as the world’s largest cryptocurrency plunged almost 20 percent in less than two weeks.
The crypto was down more than 5 percent Friday morning from a day earlier and was last seen trading at about $56,600 per coin, about 18 percent below its peak of $69,000 reached earlier this month.
The price of bitcoin has now been on the decline for six straight days, and the downturn extends widely across cryptocurrencies.
Ether, the native currency of the Ethereum blockchain and the second-largest crypto, has similarly fallen about 15 percent from its peak of almost $4,860 per coin.
The digital currency was last seen exchanging hands at $4,125 per coin, down more than 2.5 percent over the past 24 hours.
Smaller tokens, including binance coin, solana and cardano were all also down over the past day, and each has fallen anywhere from 19 percent to 24 percent from highs seen earlier this month.
This kind of volatility is something seasoned crypto investors have come to expect.
After touching a then-record high price this spring, bitcoin tanked more than 50 percent during the summer before rallying back and setting a new record.
And the crypto saw even bigger price swings earlier this decade, when bitcoin was still a relatively niche project with much fewer holders.
“During the 2016/17 Bitcoin winter, the thing that really took the wind out of the sails of crypto was when interest rates rose and liquidity was draining from the system,” Jamie Cox, a financial adviser and managing partner at Harris Financial Group, told Bloomberg.
Crypto investors and speculators often use the term “winter” to refer to periods of huge price declines that come shortly after rapid rallies that send prices spiking. One such winter struck in 2017 after bitcoin rallied from $900 per coin to a then-record $20,000 per coin.
“Bitcoin correction is not a big deal,” Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at foreign exchange Oanda, wrote in a note to Bloomberg.
While a break to $50,000 “would represent a large correction from the highs, it would still be relatively minor considering how far it’s come in recent months.”