How did the 2022 crypto crash happened?

People will always remember 2022 as the year of the crypto crash. Everything that was worth a cryptocurrency lost more than $2 trillion. The most valuable ones, like Bitcoin and Ethereum, lost more than 60% of their value at their lowest points. Many people no longer believe that cryptocurrencies and the blockchain technology that makes them possible are useful because of a terrible crash.

It’s important to look at what happened and why the 2022 crash happened so that it doesn’t happen again and so that more people can use cryptocurrency. It does that and also talks about what the crypto crash means for the business going forward.

Key Takeaways

  1. In 2022, the cryptocurrency markets crashed due to high inflation, rising interest rates, too much speculation, a lot of problems with regulations, and the fall of the FTX.
  2. Big exchanges like FTX went down because of bad management, a lack of control, and maybe even fraud. This showed that there were problems with the system as a whole.
  3. People were pulling their money out of risky assets because the economy as a whole was unstable, which made the crypto crash worse.
  4. For markets to stay stable in the future, rules need to be made more clear and risk management needs to get better.
  5. Crypto is unstable right now, but market experts are still cautiously optimistic about the long term.

Crypto crash 2022
Crypto crash 2022

Background of Cryptocurrency Market Pre-2022

The cryptocurrency market was growing very quickly before 2022. In just 2021, the market value of all crypto assets went from $775 billion to almost $3 trillion. Bitcoin hit a high point of $69,000, and Ethereum hit a high point of $4,800.

The fact that so many people and businesses wanted to invest in cryptocurrencies was what caused this rise. A lot of big businesses, like Tesla, invest some of their cash in Bitcoin. Also, exchanges for cryptocurrencies like Binance and FTX got a lot of attention very quickly.

But far away, storm clouds were gathering.

The Triggering Factors of the 2022 Crypto Crash

The crash in 2022 didn’t happen all at once. Several important events happened at the same time, causing the market to eventually crash:

Inflation and Rising Interest Rates

  • As prices went up in major economies, central banks had to quickly raise interest rates.
  • This made investments that were risky, like cryptocurrency, less appealing.
  • Rising rates also put pressure on crypto companies that had too much debt.

Regulatory Changes and Government Action

  • More calls from governments to regulate crypto
  • China has completely banned the use of cryptocurrencies.
  • The new rules in the US and EU are making the market less certain.

Excess Speculation and “Crypto Bro” Culture

  • There were a lot of amateur “get-rich-quick” speculators who joined the 2021 bull run.
  • Crypto asset prices went into bubble territory because of too much speculation.

Higher rates, a lot of trouble with regulations, and investors who were too excited for their own good all made cryptocurrency markets very unstable. It was set up to fall apart in the end. But what made it happen?

The Role of Major Crypto Exchanges

The crash of one of the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchanges, FTX, in 2022 was a direct cause of the crash.

The Collapse of FTX

The most that FTX was worth at its peak was $32 billion. However, in November 2022, it was said that a subsidiary of FTX used customer funds to make risky derivative bets [3]. Customers who were scared rushed to take their money out of what seemed to be a stable exchange.

Key Events in FTX Collapse
November 2: Coindesk reports reveal issues at FTX
November 6: Binance tries to acquire FTX but deal falls through
November 11: FTX files for bankruptcy; Sam Bankman Fried resigns

As a result of this loss of confidence, many companies that were connected to the crypto markets had trouble with liquidity. The failure of FTX set off a chain of events that made the systemic risks that were still there because of bad risk management stand out.

Crypto crash 2022

The Influence of Other Major Exchanges

  • Binance: Temporary rescue deal stopped by reports of mishandled user funds at FTX
  • OKX, Huobi: Chinese exchanges affected by investor skittishness
  • Coinbase’s share prices tanked in line with crypto assets on its exchange

The failure of a major player like FTX showed how vulnerable major exchanges were to each other and to volatile crypto assets in a world with few rules.

Economic and Global Events Influencing the Crash

The FTX mess may have been the last straw that broke the camel’s back, but the 2022 crypto crash can’t be understood in isolation from the rest of the world’s economy.

Some of the most important non-cryptographic factors that made the crash worse were:

  • Rising Inflation—In 2021, investors turned to crypto as a way to protect themselves from rising prices. Interest rate hikes caused by policy changed that story.
  • Fears of a Global Recession—Worries about a global recession and a loss of faith in the tech industry spread to crypto.
  • Russia and Ukraine’s war Unstable geopolitics made markets even less stable across all asset classes, including crypto.

The “perfect storm” of high inflation, unstable markets around the world, and worries about a global recession made people less likely to invest in the risky crypto sector.

Retail investors who were afraid of losing money quickly sold speculative altcoins before selling pressure spread to major coins like Bitcoin and Ethereum. It was like a domino effect was happening as the crypto crash moved from the edges of the cryptoverse to the middle of it.

The Domino Effect: From FTX to Wider Market

The catastrophic meltdown across cryptocurrencies followed a textbook domino sequence:

  • People are less confident in crypto exchanges after FTX went down.
  • Investors are rushing to get rid of their positions on all major exchanges.
  • A flight of capital and a crash of well-known “stablecoins”
  • Cryptocurrency institutions with a lot of debt are having trouble getting cash.
  • Deleveraging and selling pressure cause the prices of more crypto assets to drop.
  • Crypto companies that are traded on stock markets are now affected.

When the FTX incident happened, it shook up the whole industry. A lot of money that investors had was lost in just a few weeks. But every crisis is a chance to learn something. What can investors and regulators learn from this mess?

Lessons Learned from the Crash

Now that we can look back, we can learn some very important lessons from the 2022 crypto crash:

For Investors

  • Cryptocurrencies are still risky investments that can go up or down quickly.
  • Allocating a portfolio and managing risk are very important.
  • Lessen your use of debt and stay away from too much speculation in futures markets
  • Before investing, do your own research; don’t go with the crowd or the hype.

For Industry and Regulators

  • Poor risk controls—crypto exchanges need to get better at running their businesses
  • There needs to be more oversight of crypto firms to lower systemic risks.
  • The crypto industry and regulators need to work together.
  • Crypto advertising and influencer marketing need clear rules.

The main lesson is that the idea behind cryptocurrency, which is to make it decentralized and open to everyone, shouldn’t keep the industry from having reasonable checks and balances. This is especially true for companies and institutions that handle billions of dollars in customer funds.

Still, every business has its ups and downs. Cryptocurrency still has a lot of potential to change finance and technology, but only if it can learn from its mistakes.

Moving Forward: The Crypto Market in 2023

Where does crypto go from here? That is the million-dollar question. By December 2022, the total value of the crypto market had levelled off at about $850 billion. It was still down a lot, but it wasn’t falling apart.

Market analysts and crypto enthusiasts believe:

  • Having a bigger picture is important after a 201% rise in 2021 and a 65% drop from peak to trough in 2022.
  • The basics are still strong, and being open about exchange reserves will help rebuild trust.
  • You should expect consolidation instead of collapse; Bitcoin and Ethereum will lead the recovery as a whole.
  • Clear rules in the US could set up barriers against volatility.
  • Long-term bulls in the market are still optimistic about crypto, but they expect turbulence.

Basically, cryptocurrency as an asset class is still appealing and will last, even though it has been badly hurt. But moving forward will likely mean more rules, better risk management, and some pain in the short term.


Q: What was the biggest reason for the crypto crash?

The failure of major crypto exchange FTX initiated panic selling and liquidity issues, which crashed crypto markets that were already fragile due to economic instability.

Q: How much did the crypto market lose in the 2022 crash?

At its November low, the crypto market had lost nearly $2 trillion from its November 2021 peak. The total crypto market cap fell from $3 trillion to under $850 billion.

Q: Can regulation prevent another crypto crash?

Reasonable regulation around crypto company practices and risk management can prevent the spread of any future shocks. However, crypto remains a volatile asset class, so periodic crashes are still likely.

Q: Is crypto dead forever, or will it recover?

A: No, cryptocurrency as an industry still retains appeal and has weathered several crashes before. Market analysts expect consolidation followed by a gradual recovery by quality cryptoassets led by Bitcoin and Ethereum.

Q: What does the crypto crash mean for investors?

For investors, the crypto crash reinforces principles of portfolio allocation, risk management, and investigating assets before buying during hype-driven rallies. High reward potential still exists, but measured exposure is advisable.


The cryptocurrency crash of 2022 was both scary and important for the development of the asset class as a whole. The FTX-led collapse caused panic and billions of dollars in losses. Now, cryptocurrency has a chance to respond positively.

More openness, less speculation, smarter rules, and better risk management will lead to more adoption and stability in the long run. Even though the market goes up and down, crypto communities and the technology behind them (blockchain) are still strong and ready for the next stage of growth.



Through his platform CoinsMudra, Anit Kumar Tarafdar has become one of the most respected experts on cryptocurrencies in India. Even though I had degrees in engineering and marketing, I changed careers 5 years ago because I loved investing in crypto. Anit wants to give regular crypto traders more power by putting out easy-to-understand guides on blockchain concepts and clear price prediction models for Bitcoin and the most important altcoins. His clear, evidence-based analysis is hitting home with a growing group of people.

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