A strong sell-off occurred in the cryptocurrency market in the wake of the collapse of TerraUSD (UST), one of the largest stablecoins, sending shockwaves throughout the digital asset market.
As a stablecoin, UST lost more than half its value last week after being attacked by an investor group known as a “whale,” which is a large group looking to exploit loopholes in algorithms, according to Pipat Luengnaruemitchai, chief economist for KKP Research.
As of 2.20 pm on Tuesday, UST was trading at $0.099234, down 25.4% over the past 24 hours, while Bitcoin was still at $30,494 at 2.57 pm.
Recently, Do Kwon, co-founder of UST and Luna, announced a plan to split Terra and Terra Classic into separate blockchains by May 31. So far, investors have not been convinced.
According to Mr. Pipat, the price collapse triggered a crisis of faith in digital assets, resulting in many investors offloading their crypto and digital coins in a panic.
According to reports, Bitcoin, Ethereum, Cardano, and Solana were all down 30-50%, while a number of mid-and small-cap altcoins were down 70-90%.
The collapse of UST had ripple effects across the market because stablecoins have a huge market size, estimated at over $180 billion, nearly 10% of the total crypto market cap.
Digital asset market exchanges in Thailand
On Tuesday, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) released a survey examining local investors’ perspectives on digital assets.
The survey found that 46% of investors view digital asset market investment as speculative.
Thailand’s trading accounts on digital asset exchanges grew by more than 10 times from 2020 to February 2022, going from 170,000 accounts to 2.5 million accounts.
Pongsathon Parinyavuttichai, in the SEC’s research department, said some Thai investors deposit their money in decentralized finance (DeFi) because they believe bank deposits are not always secure and offer low-interest rates.
However, he said most investors are not very knowledgeable about digital assets and usually decide to invest in them based on advice from friends, influencers, YouTubers, or celebrities.
Mr. Pongsathon said that older generations aren’t interested in the digital asset market because they perceive them as high risk. However, younger investors are easily drawn to them for the opportunity to make higher returns and have higher risk tolerances.
According to SEC data, although the Thai digital asset market has seen considerable growth in the past year, most Thai investors still opt for traditional stocks.
The widespread adoption of Bitcoin and its rising price are among the factors that contributed to the increased investment in digital assets over the past year, he said.
He said that local digital asset market exchanges had been a big factor in changing people’s perception of digital assets.