The cryptocurrency market has taken a beating over the last few months, to put it mildly. Bitcoin (BTC 0.56%) and Ethereum (ETH 1.78%) are both down roughly 57% since their peaks in November. Cardano has fallen by roughly 75% in that time frame, and Solana, one of the breakout stars of the crypto world, has dropped by nearly 80%.
The crypto sector has also been rocked after controversy surrounding stablecoin TerraUSD (UST -4.10%). After the stablecoin lost its peg to the U.S. dollar, its sister cryptocurrency Terra (LUNA -7.87%) lost more than 98% of its value within 24 hours.
Not only is this bad news for LUNA investors, but it has also shaken many investors' faith in all stablecoins -- and perhaps cryptocurrency, in general. If you're already invested in crypto or are considering it, is now really the right time? Here's what you need to know.
What does the future look like for crypto?
Nobody knows for certain whether cryptocurrency will rebound from this slump or if it will even be around in the future. It's still a highly speculative investment, and even major cryptos like Bitcoin and Ethereum are not guaranteed to succeed.
This doesn't necessarily mean you shouldn't invest. But it's wise to consider how much risk you can tolerate.
Cryptocurrency has the potential to earn explosive returns, and some experts believe it will be around for the long haul. But this recent downturn proves yet again just how volatile it can be, and the LUNA fiasco is a good reminder that cryptocurrency is an inherently risky investment.
Should you still invest?
Whether or not you invest in crypto right now depends on a few factors, including your long-term outlook, financial situation, and tolerance for risk. Crypto should be considered a long-term investment, not a "get rich quick" strategy.
If you believe a particular cryptocurrency has long-term potential, you may choose to invest now when prices are lower. But if you're just trying to make a quick buck, this investment may not be right for you.
Also, consider whether you can afford to invest right now. Because crypto is so risky, it's wise to only invest money you're prepared to lose. If you're struggling to pay the bills or don't have a solid emergency fund just yet, you may be better off focusing on those priorities before investing.
Finally, think about how much risk you can comfortably take. Even if you're keeping a long-term outlook, short-term volatility can be tough to stomach. It's not unusual for cryptocurrency prices to fall by 50% or more, and if you know you'd lose sleep over that level of volatility, you may opt to invest elsewhere.
Cryptocurrency can be a potentially lucrative investment, but it's not right for everyone. While downturns can be a smart time to invest because prices are lower, be sure you're prepared for the risks that come with buying crypto. The more prepared you are, the better off you'll be.