It means the value of bitcoin is lower than it has been since 2020, and is now at the point at which many analysts had expressed concern that sentiment could continue to spiral.
The latest fall in bitcoin dragged it down to below $19,000, wiping 9 per cent from its value over the last 24 hours. It has lost a third of its price over the past seven days. In late 2021, it had been trading at well over three times its current price.
Bitcoin was not the only cryptocurrency to suffer, with the whole market down by more than 7 per cent over the day. The second-largest cryptocurrency, Ethereum, fell even more: down by 9 per cent over the last day and having lost 40 per cent over the last week.
The drop has been driven in part by the failure of two major cryptocurrency projects: Terra Luna and Celsius. Both were intended as important ways of promoting the stability of digital finance, but they have undermined confidence in the technology.
But crypto markets are also falling amid the same uncertainty that has rocked traditional financial markets, with worries about inflation and economic growth.
The last time the price of bitcoin went through $20,000 it was on its way up in November 2020, driven by a flurry of interest in cryptocurrencies and day trading that emerged seemingly as a result of the pandemic.
Now, on its way back down, sentiment around cryptocurrency has changed considerably. The latest plunge follows weeks of falling prices, new worries about the stability of digital money, bad sentiment around the technology industry and other issues.