By the end of last year, the value of Hasten Carter’s cryptocurrency holdings had climbed to about $250,000. He moved to a nicer apartment, bought a new truck, and started thinking about pursuing his dream of a full-time career in game development.
But over the past two months, the value of cryptocurrencies has plummeted, taking with it much of Carter’s digital nest egg, a mix of Ethereum, the second-most popular cryptocurrency, and a number of more obscure coins.
“It’s gotten out of hand to the point where I’m not sure I’m comfortable I can keep my money,” said Carter, 30, who has kept his day job at a Nashville sign-making business. Of his hopes for a new career, he said: “I’m not sure if it’s as wise of a decision.”
Bitcoin price falls sharply amid Wall Street sell-off
Thousands of Americans who jumped into crypto investing over the past two years in hopes of a rocket ride to instant wealth now face a similar reckoning: Prices for cryptocurrencies — from relative stalwarts such as bitcoin and Ethereum to more exotic tokens — have cratered since reaching all-time highs in early November, wiping out an astonishing $1.35 trillion in value globally, nearly half of the total market, according to CoinMarketCap.