The price of the Terra (LUNA) cryptocurrency has fallen by more than 99 percent, thus wiping out the fortunes of cryptocurrency investors.
Terra, which was among the top 10 most valuable cryptocurrencies, fell below $1 on Wednesday, after having peaked at $120 last month.
Most of the losses occurred overnight, with a 98 percent drop in price in just 24 hours.
The dramatic drop meant that its market capitalization fell from over $40 billion to just $500 million, resulting in unprecedented losses for investors in one of the leading cryptocurrencies.
“I lost all my life savings,” wrote a member of the r/TerraLuna sub-Reddit. “I had bought Luna for $85, I’m not sure what to do.”
Another wrote that he had lost $15,000 after failing to sell his shares for a substantial profit when it was trading above $100 last month.
“I should have sold when it was $100, then I would have made $25,000,” Reddit user No-Forever wrote. “But I got greedy hoping to get more money so I could at least put down a down payment on a house for my family. I guess there will be no house and no savings, then.”
Some members shared suicidal posts after seeing their possessions lose value overnight, while others offered support by sharing links to suicide prevention hotlines around the world.
“I lost more than $450,000, I can’t pay the bank,” wrote a Terra forum user. “I will lose my home soon. I will be homeless. Suicide is the only way out for me.”
Moderators of the forum, which has more than 44,000 members, pinned a post with the helpline numbers at the top of the page.
Major cryptocurrency exchange Binance temporarily suspended withdrawals on the Terra (LUNA) network at one point, meaning even those who wanted to sell were unable to.
The Cayman Islands-based exchange cited “a high volume of pending withdrawal transactions…caused by network slowness and congestion.”
Terra’s drop comes amid a downturn for the broader cryptocurrency market, in which Bitcoin is down more than 50 percent from its all-time high of nearly $69,000 in November, yet LUNA’s crash it has been compounded by problems with the Terra-linked Terra stablecoin, UST.
Earlier this week, the UST unpegged from the dollar and fell to a low of $0.29. Luna Foundation Guard (LFG), which acts as the trustee for UST, is currently looking to raise more than $1 billion to rescue the algorithmic stablecoin, though many investors believe the project is done for.
Do Kwon, who founded Terra creator Terraform Labs, tweeted on Tuesday: “Close to announcing recovery plan for $UST. Hold on.”
He followed this up with a Twitter thread on Wednesday, asking the community for patience.
“I understand that the last 72 hours have been extremely difficult for all of you. Know that I am determined to work with each of you to get through this crisis, and we will build a way out of this,” she wrote.
“The Terra ecosystem is one of the most vibrant in the cryptocurrency industry, with hundreds of passionate teams building category-defining applications within… The return of Terra will be a sight to behold.”
If you have feelings of anguish and isolation, or are struggling to cope, The Samaritans offers support; you can talk to someone for free by phone, in confidence, on 116 123 (UK and ROI), send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Samaritans website to find the details of your nearest branch.
If you live in the US and you or someone you know needs mental health assistance right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). The Helpline is a free, confidential crisis hotline that is available to everyone 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you are in another country, you can visit befrienders.org to find a helpline near you.