has this week dipped below the $20,000 per bitcoin level after Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell’s closely-watched remarks.

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The bitcoin price, deep in a 70% slump from its all-time high, last dropped under $20,000 in July—erasing all of its August gains (though some suddenly think now’s the right time to buy bitcoin). Meanwhile, the ethereum price is hurtling towards its own earthquake and other top ten cryptocurrencies—including BNBBNB
, solana, cardano and dogecoin—are searching for direction in a $2 trillion crypto winter where “anything could happen.”

Now, bitcoin, ethereum and other major cryptocurrencies could be heading into a dicey September with a looming so-called “black swan” event, ethereum’s major upgrade and another Federal Reserve interest rate hike piling pressure on a buckling crypto market.

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In September, almost $3 billion worth of bitcoin could suddenly flood the market as 137,000 bitcoin lost by the once-dominant Mt. Gox bitcoin exchange is returned to investors. Mt. Gox filed for bankruptcy in 2014 after losing 850,000 bitcoins to fraudulent withdrawals.

The repayment has previously been named as a potential bitcoin black swan—a term used to describe a very rare or otherwise unexpected event—that could have a major effect on the bitcoin price and could weigh on ethereum, BNBBNB
, solana, cardano and dogecoin.

This week, unfounded rumors swirled on social media that Mt. Gox’s trustee could be imminently releasing some of its recovered bitcoin to creditors, exacerbating a bitcoin price crash. Debate has raged across social media as to “how many of these original investors sitting on a 50xZRX
profit will sell” their newly-returned bitcoin, potentially driving down the bitcoin price.

On top of fears that $2.7 billion worth of bitcoin could be about to flood the market (up from just $540 apiece when Mt. Gox collapsed), traders are expecting the U.S Federal Reserve to continue its hawkish monetary policy program with another mammoth interest rate hike in September. On Friday, Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell cautioned traders against expecting a swift end to its interest rate hikes.

“The volatility that has become so characteristic of the digital token space shows no signs of abating,” analysts at the Bitfinex bitcoin and crypto exchange wrote in emailed comments, calling bitcoin’s price drop in the aftermath of Powell’s comments a “hair-trigger response.”

Meanwhile, ethereum’s looming merge upgrade—scheduled for mid-September and designed to begin the network’s transition from the energy-intensive proof-of-work to the more environmentally-friendly proof-of-stake that’s also expected to reduce fees and improve transaction times—is causing uncertainty in the market.

“The month started with brewing optimism as market participants prepare for ethereum’s merge, but all indexes [have] declined … as we approach the end of August,” Vijay Ayyar, Asia vice president at crypto exchange Luno, wrote in an emailed note, adding ethereum “has underperformed against all the major cryptocurrencies.”

The ethereum price is currently down around 25% from its August peak.

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Looking ahead to September, most analysts and market watchers are bearish on bitcoin, ethereum and other major cryptocurrencies.

“As for where the market goes now, it’s difficult to see broad sentiment returning to the exuberance of 2021 in the near future,” Swarm Markets cofounder Timo Lehes said in emailed comments.

“While the merge is certainly creating traction with investors other headwinds still exist, such as regulatory pressure, more macro worries and rate rises, plus other ‘black swan’ type events such as the Mt. Gox bitcoin dump.”

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