The crypto market took a swan dive off the high board in early May and left investors with the sting of a summer camp belly flop. A steep sell-off brought the price of bitcoin, the best known and most valuable cryptocurrency, to its lowest point since 2020. More than $300 billion in value was vaporized in an instant, and some $1 trillion in aggregate value was lost once the dust settled.
News headlines were understandably apoplectic: “Melt down,” “a perfect storm,” “like the dot-com crash,” “ turmoil and panic.” Crypto critics used the plunging prices to renew arguments that the category is digital snake oil. Supporters pointed to previous crashes as a demonstration of crypto’s short-term volatility and long-term value.
So what’s really going on? Morning Brew asked Alkesh Shah to find out. As global head of crypto and digital assets strategy at Bank of America, it’s Shah’s job to figure out what’s happening for the second largest bank in the US.