As of Monday afternoon, the price of bitcoin was sitting just above $3,500, good for a nearly 10% pop on the day and a roughly 82% drop over the last year. Measured from its most recent low on Saturday, bitcoin prices dropped 84% from their peak last December 17. Back when bitcoin prices and other cryptocurrencies were going to the moon, stocks were near record highs and finishing off one of the least-volatile years on record. In the end, 2017 was a great time to be invested in the stock market but it was a very boring time to be talking about investing in the stock market. But right now, stocks are getting rocked and the drumbeat of strategists calling the current environment a bear market is growing louder. Investors are concerned about the Federal Reserve, the end of the economic cycle, and Trump’s trade war with China among other things. Following the stock market and financial markets in 2018 is fun. Following the crypto market is not. Throughout the popping of the 2017-18 cryptocurrency bubble, defenders of the space have taken up a number of positions to justify why digital assets are here to say, with many simply arguing that prices don’t matter. But as layoffs have started hitting the cryptocurrency space it is hard to argue that prices are just a cosmetic distraction true believers can freely ignore. The price of any financial asset always matters — arguing otherwise is to simply deny reality. Higher prices for bitcoin and other digital assets motivate the miners creating these new assets to continue their work. Lower prices make mining less economically viable, potentially stunting the expansion of the network or rendering the network’s existence obsolete. Bitcoin historians will note that this is only the third-worst drop in the history of bitcoin — in 2011 and in 2013, bitcoin dropped more than 90% from peak to trough. But the public mania that accompanied the 2017 frenzy and 2018 crash in the price of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies certainly makes this the most notable drawdown we’ve seen in the bitcoin space.