Two-day bitcoin sell-off wipes off $100 billion from the entire crypto market

Bitcoin slumped for a second day Thursday, taking the digital currency's losses to more than 10% over 48 hours and wiping off billions of dollars from the crypto market.

The price of bitcoin slipped over 6% Thursday to as low as $32,527, falling below the $33,000 level for the first time since Jan. 13, according to data from industry website CoinDesk.

The world's most valuable digital coin has had a wild few weeks of volatility, briefly hitting $41,940 earlier this month before sinking sharply the subsequent week.

Ether, the second-biggest crypto token by market value, was also down nearly 10% from where it was two days ago. The coin hit an all-time high of 1,439 on Tuesday, according to Coin Metrics data.

The total market value of all cryptocurrencies shed more than $100 billion in the last 48 hours, falling from about $1.06 trillion to nearly $949 billion as of 9:20 a.m. London time.

It comes despite seemingly positive news for bitcoin, which is still up over 150% in the last 3 months. On Wednesday, asset manager BlackRock — which has $7.8 trillion in assets under management — filed separate prospectuses for two funds that may buy bitcoin futures contracts, in the biggest sign yet that institutional investors are flocking to the virtual currency.

Bitcoin bulls say the main reason for bitcoin's upward momentum over recent months has been the rise of institutional demand for bitcoin. Well-known investors like Paul Tudor Jones and Stanley Druckenmiller have come out as bitcoin believers, while some asset managers are starting to add it to their portfolios.

The cryptocurrency's remarkable surge has also been fueled in part by a narrative that it offers a store of value akin to gold in times of unprecedented economic stimulus, which some investors fear will cause a spike in inflation.

However, skeptics worry that bitcoin is just another market bubble waiting to burst. The cryptocurrency is known for its volatility — it skyrocketed close to $20,000 in late 2017 before plunging the following year.

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