7 Big Moments of the Craziest Bitcoin and Crypto Week Ever

from where we start? In a decade of covering cryptocurrency, I’ve seen a lot of crazy things, but I’ve never seen a week like this. In the past, there have certainly been one-off incidents that have turned the industry on its head — like the Mt. Gox of 2014, or Tesla buying $1.5 billion worth of Bitcoin, or Elon Musk shilling Dogecoin on SNL – but never a chain of events like we just saw.

In the coming days, there will be a lot of ideas as to why this is so crazy. And perhaps there will be some serious self-reflection on why the crypto community has put up with the people who caused so much of the current chaos in the first place. But for now, let’s take a breath and take stock of what the hell happened on the craziest cryptocurrency day ever. Here are seven key moments.

1. Tera is on fire: Until a week ago, Terra was the hottest thing in crypto: Governance Token LUNA was a top 10 coin by market cap, and the algorithm dollar-pegged UST was the No. 4 stablecoin. And then, pop! Both went to zero. (LUNA is trading at a fraction of a cent, while the ground tank is down at 13 cents.) Lots of projects have fallen apart before Terra, but there has never been a project of this magnitude and it has never happened in such an amazing way. The cryptocurrency world will be talking about this catastrophe for years to come — and points to why so many in the industry have been quick to put their faith in Terra’s high-risk architecture.

2. $200 billion in crypto value evaporated in 24 hours: This is from a Bloomberg Thursday’s story, which followed earlier reports that the cryptocurrency markets have already lost more than $1 trillion before Tera cracked. To put this in perspective, $200 billion more than Entire market cap of Bitcoin in 2020. If you want to put a positive spin on the carnage, you can note that much of the crash was driven by macroeconomic forces (not only did the cryptocurrency bleed in the red this month) and that the cryptocurrency market is now big enough to survive. A loss of this magnitude. But still. 200 billion dollars!

3. coin collapse: On Thursday, Coinbase (COIN) stock jumped as low as $40.83 – 90% down from its initial price of $381 in April of last year. This is the leading company in the cryptocurrency industry, and unlike many tech companies, it has been profitable for most of its existence. The Coinbase vortex, which was going on long before this week’s market crash, mostly reflects that Wall Street still doesn’t know how to value the cryptocurrency. (On Friday, the shares started rising to nearly $70.)

4. Secretary Yellen says there are no systemic risksThis news was buried amid market frenzy, but this week the Treasury Secretary told Congress that cryptocurrencies do not pose any “systemic risks” to the broader US economy, and it’s a big deal. Systematic is a technical term and would have exposed the industry to a punitive set of new regulations.

5. The rope breaks the responsibility: stablecoins are supposed to be stable. This week he put the entire concept into question. Tether (USDT), the largest stablecoin to date, briefly fell to 95 cents before recovering. Tether has broken its currency pegs in the past, but, in the midst of the Terra debacle, its recent slide was poorly timed — and will only increase scrutiny of Tether’s opaque accounting practices.

6. SBF takes a piece from Robinhood: FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried has revealed that he has taken an 8% position in HOOD, which could herald a full takeover. If that happens, it would be a ridiculous turn for Robinhood, which was once seen as the darling of Silicon Valley and a serious competitor to Coinbase. Now its growth has slowed, it has cut 9% of its workforce, and inventory is down 70% in a year.

7. Musk Says “Maybe Not” to Twitter: It wouldn’t be a crazy week in coding without some Elon antics. Sure enough, the Tesla CEO started off Friday by suggesting that he might not buy Twitter after all; Arrow reacted poorly. He later clarified that he is “still committed” to buying Twitter, but what happens next is anyone’s guess. Twitter is the most important communication platform in the industry, and Musk is its biggest influencer, so it all counts.

Those were just seven news moments in a week filled with many – including an imminent default by El Salvador thanks to mismanagement by the country’s Bitcoin boss and his bros. Crypto has gone on its craziest ride ever and the main thing for me is that most people in the industry would be fine. WAGMI, as they say. Unless you are a Terra Bag holder.

This is Roberts on Crypto, a weekend column from Decrypt Editor-in-Chief Daniel Roberts and Executive Decrypt Editor Jeff John Roberts. Subscribe to the Decrypt Debrief newsletter to receive it in your inbox every Saturday. And read last weekend’s column: The Bitcoin bloodbath will only get worse. This is good.

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