Experts give their thoughts on what that fall in the cryptos means for the future of the space.
David Rubenstein, co-founder and co-executive chairman of The Carlyle Group, remains optimistic.
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"I think it's here to stay. Cryptocurrency is not going away, just like gold is not going away. Yes, it's had its ups and downs and [Wednesday] was not a good day for it but that's true of anything that is relatively new. … It's here because people in the market want something other than just the traditional currencies that we've had and whether that's right or wrong, it's clearly something that the market wants."
More education will lead to less volatility, said Binance.US CEO Brian Brooks.
"I would argue the problem is as much educating investors about this stuff as it is about building infrastructure because I think we're at a point in time where many investors don't know the difference between ethereum and filecoin and solana. They just all see it as crypto and you wouldn't buy stocks that way. So, I think we need to focus more on what these tokens represent, what the network value is that is backing them and when we have that level of education, you're going to see some amount of the volatility go away."
Anthony Scaramucci, founder of Skybridge Capital, discusses how bitcoin will bounce back.
"The bull market is intact for bitcoin. If you go back over the different slides in bitcoin over the last 12 years, this is consistent with those slides. Having said that, you had a very big run-up at the beginning of the year because of all the expectation but … most of the smaller players are using tremendous amounts of leverage. Think of the GameStop situation. … So long term, bitcoin is bouncing back, I think that's a flight to quality in the crypto space but if you look at the altcoins I think it's good for crypto and ethereum because they really got blasted."
Jim Cramer, host of CNBC's "Mad Money," gives his take on the "hidden" aspect of bitcoin trading.
"I think the main concern is how hidden it is. Now I know blockchain is terrific in giving it the power of being hidden but the lack of regulation is causing the IRS to be unsure, you have to check all the boxes of whether you did bitcoin. … This is not a meme, this is a major business."
Rich Repetto, managing director at Piper Sandler, said volatility is to be anticipated.
"Expect volatility in these cryptocurrencies. What happened over the past few days. while painful, it's not unusual with how crypto has been priced over the last 10 years. You've seen every year, at least a 28% drop and you've seen three solid cycles of resetting prices. Coinbase is tied to and totally focused on the crypto economy, so we'd expect the stock to reflect some of that volatility as well."
Sean Horgan, equity research analyst at Rosenblatt Securities, weighs in on the positive aspects of volatility.
"Volatility is not all bad for an exchange, right? When there's more volatility, there's more engagement, more MTUs, monthly transaction users, there's more trading volumes and that means more revenue, so I actually don't think it's all negative in the short term and it's certainly not in the long term."
Ian Balina, founder and CEO of Token Metrics, said volatility also means upside potential.
"Cryptocurrencies, one of the beauties of them is that they're very volatile but as a result of that there's lots of upside. Lots of retail investors and traders are joining the space because of the huge gains whether in bitcoin, whether in ethereum, dogecoins or meme coins but at the end of the day they should zoom out and have a big-picture view. Because right now bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are building the future of finance, the future of open money and if they have that big picture then they should huddle and think long term. We think bitcoin is great technology, but we think bitcoin's days are almost over because bitcoin was designed to be digital cash but now it's just becoming purely a store of value, it's becoming digital gold."
Maciej Cegłowski, founder of Pinboard, called it out as a pyramid scheme.
"My bear case is that it's a giant pyramid scheme. And people are getting sucked into it. Unfortunately, it's a pyramid scheme that has a core of true believers and a core of people that are really fascinated by technology, so it becomes difficult. It also has a group of very smart investors and all kinds of people who are heavily pouring money into it, so it becomes difficult to call it out. But I think it's very necessary to call it out because in the end, like every pyramid scheme, people are going to get hurt"