Bitcoin holds $16K as markets edged towards 2022 close

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  • Bitcoin was changing hands near $16,600 on Wednesday, down about 1% over the past 24 hours.
  • The cryptocurrency is headed for its worst annual return since 2018.
  • Stocks have also hit a brutal patch in 2022, with major US indexes headed for their worst annual returns since 2008.

Bitcoin Wednesday was uncharacteristically uneven, trading around $16,600 as investors braced for the end of a brutal 2022.

The benchmark cryptocurrency was only in the red during early afternoon trading (2:10 p.m. ET) as Wall Street also turned negative amid optimism over China’s reopening.

Market short to end 2022

In crypto, bitcoin’s volatility has been at its 2022 low this week, heading toward a cooling $17,000 to drop the cryptocurrency down 67% in the past year.

In fact, 2022 is shaping up to be the year with the second worst returns for BTC since 2010. Digital gold’s performance during this apparent bear year is the asset’s worst return since its 73% drop in 2018.

In the bear market of 2014, the price of bitcoin fell 58%, with lower returns in other years +35% in 2015 and +66% in 2021 – in fact bitcoin is down more than 75% from its all-time high in 2021.

As bitcoin struggles to hold gains above $16k, the picture in the stock market is similar for the major US indices. The S&P 500 is down 4.1% this month and is up more than 20% year-to-date, while the Dow and Nasdaq are down -2.5% and -7.1%, respectively, over the past 30 days.

The historically bullish season for equities has been largely negative, with investor running around inflation and rate hikes, and the overall outlook for the global economy, adding to the pressures that have persisted for most of the year.

As such, while bitcoin is set to see its worst annual performance since 2018, US stocks are set for their worst annual return since 2008.

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