Bitcoin plunges by a fifth

Wall Street’s wild ride this week spilled over to the cryptocurrency markets Saturday. Bitcoin plunged by 22% to below $42,000 before paring some of that loss.

The sell-off was widespread. Ether tumbled more than 10%, and data from trading platform Coinglass showed nearly $1 billion worth of cryptocurrencies had been liquidated over the past 24 hours. A combination of profit-taking and macro-economic concerns triggered the sell-off.

The crypto plunge follows a volatile week in which stocks got slammed by fears over the Omicron variant and the Federal Reserve’s stance on inflation. And it comes as executives of major cryptocurrency firms prepare to testify before Congress Wednesday for the first time.

At least one country saw the sell-off as a buying opportunity.

El Salvador picked up 150 bitcoins at an average price of roughly $49,000. President Nayib Bukele tweeted, “El Salvador just bought the dip!”

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