The cryptocurrency industry was on edge on Monday as bitcoin struggled to stay above a key level, with investors fearing that problems at major crypto players could unleash a wider market shakeout. Bitcoin, the world’s biggest cryptocurrency, was trading just under the symbolic level of $20,000 in early London trading hours. Bitcoin had dropped on Saturday to as low as $17,592.78, falling below $20,000 for the first time since December 2020. It has lost almost 60% of its value this year and 37pc this month alone in the cryptocurrency sector’s latest meltdown. Its fall follows problems at several major industry players. Further declines, market players said, could have a knock-on effect as other crypto investors are forced to sell their holdings to meet margin calls and cover losses. Bitcoin’s moves have tended to follow a similar pattern to other risk assets such as tech stocks. The overall crypto market capitalisation is roughly $877b, according to price site Coinmarketcap, down from a peak of $2.9t in November 2021.