Bitcoin Cash, EOS Lead Crypto Market Pullback as Libra Debut Splits Community

Crypto markets witnessed a broad pullback Tuesday, as bitcoin lurched toward $9,000 while bitcoin cash (BCH) and EOS fell by at least 4%. The reversal is the latest cooling trend to follow a period of rapid gains for the digital asset class, which appreciated by as much as $18 billion over two days.

Market Update

The crypto rally faced renewed resistance on Tuesday, as the combined market cap fell by around $8 billion from the recent 11-month peak. At the time of writing, the total cryptocurrency market was worth $283 billion. It had reached an earlier low of $279.8 billion.

Bitcoin briefly pierced fell below $9,000, reaching a session low of $8,910 on Bitstamp before quickly recovering. According to CoinMarketCap’s aggregate price feed, the bitcoin price was last down almost 2% at $9,118.

Read more: Bitcoin Price Treads Water Following Facebook’s Crypto Reveal.

In terms of percentages, the bulk of the downtrend was concentrated in altcoins and tokens. Bitcoin cash, now the fifth-largest cryptocurrency by market cap, declined 4.9% to $410.

EOS, now ranked sixth, fell 4.3% to $6.80.

Stellar (XLM), Cardano (ADA), Tron (TRX) and Monero (XMR) – coins ten through 13th by market cap – were each down by at least 1.7%.

On the opposite side of the ledger, Litecoin (LTC) reported a slight gain of 1% to trade above $135.

Meanwhile, XRP was flat-footed at $0.4292 after MoneyGram confirmed it was partnering with Ripple to advance cross-border payments and foreign exchange services.

Libra: Good or Bad?

After months of speculation, Facebook finally unveiled its highly-anticipated blockchain platform on Tuesday. Named Libra, the new blockchain aims to provide a foundation for financial inclusion spanning Facebook’s massive social media network.

While most crypto enthusiasts view Libra as a positive step in promoting consumer awareness of blockchain technology, bitcoin evangelists like Andreas Antonopoulos aren’t buying it. In a video uploaded on Tuesday, Antonopoulos argued that Libra will never compete against bitcoin because it doesn’t even meet the definition of a truly open and public blockchain.

As Matt Odell tweeted all the way back in December, neither Facebook nor any other major corporation can ever compete with bitcoin for one very important reason: “They all have to comply with regulations and therefore can’t offer censorship resistance or immutability.”

It remains to be seen whether Facebook will inflict wounds on a large segment of the altcoin market that is trying to achieve similar ends as Libra. As the Libra whitepaper clearly reads, the new project seeks to develop a “new global currency [that] could meet the daily financial needs of billions of people.”

The project is being underpinned by important considerations for scalability, security and governance, and will rely on a new programming language for smart contract execution.

Disclaimer: The author owns Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock. Charts via CoinMarketCap.

Chief Editor to and Contributor to, Sam Bourgi has spent the past nine years focused on economics, markets and cryptocurrencies. His work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE and Forbes. Avid crypto watchers and those with a libertarian persuasion can follow him on twitter at @hsbourgi