Bitcoin fell below the US$20,000 support line in Friday morning trading in Asia, while Ether saw a sell-off following the long-awaited network “Merge” on Thursday. The total cryptocurrency market capitalization fell below US$1 trillion as all top 10 tokens were trading down.

See related article: Ethereum says Merge upgrade successfully completed, more to come

Fast facts

  • Bitcoin fell 2.7% in the past 24 hours to trade at US$19,707 at 8 a.m. in Hong Kong, while Ether (ETH) fell 10% to US$1,471 – its lowest since Aug 29 and the biggest drop among the top 10 cryptocurrencies – according to data from CoinMarketCap.
  • The Ethereum network “Merge” was completed with the deployment of the final upgrade known as “Paris,” which is expected to slash the network’s electricity use by up to 99.95% while improving transaction speeds. However, some investors said the Merge had been long priced into the Ether token, hence the selling after it was completed.
  • As for the new network itself: “Ethereum’s initial post-Merge performance looks favorable with a very limited number of missed blocks and a high participation rate,” said Milosz Papst, director at investment research firm Edison Group in a statement shared with Forkast.
  • Some Ether miners rejected the Merge as it would cut their revenue and created a fork to keep running the previous network. However, the currency for this fork, ETHPoW, lost 71% of its value to trade as low as US$9.98 on Thursday morning.
  • Ethereum Classic (ETC) – the original chain from which ETH was forked – also declined, losing 9.54% to US$35.61.
  • U.S. equities fell Thursday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 0.6% lower, the S&P 500 Index fell 1.1% and the Nasdaq Composite Index finished off 1.4%.
  • The U.S. Labor Department on Thursday said unemployment claims fell in the week ended Sept. 10 to the lowest since May, suggesting a robust economy that may support an aggressive interest rate increase by the Federal Reserve next week as the central bank has made taming inflation its priority. August retail sales figures in the U.S. also released on Thursday came in higher than expected with a 0.3% increase from July.

See related article: Ethereum’s last PoW and first PoS NFTs minted for 67.5 ETH