Bitcoin Holds Above $11,300, Top Cryptocurrencies See Mixed Results as Market Reacts to Lagarde Appointment

Bitcoin and the broader cryptocurrency market traded without much conviction on Sunday, as market participants awaited fresh catalysts that have largely eluded the space in recent days. The gridlocked market conditions have seen a sharp drop in trading activity, with bitcoin’s ‘real 10’ spot volume falling to less than a third of last month’s high.

Crypto Market Searches for Direction

The cryptocurrency market cap, which tracks the total value of all digital assets in circulation, has declined by around $700 million over the last 24 hours to reach $324 billion, according to CoinMarketCap. Similarly, coin values are relatively unchanged over week-ago levels.

Looking at individual cryptocurrencies, bitcoin edged down 0.8% to trade at $11,350. The largest cryptocurrency has carved out an incrementally narrower trading range in recent days, a sign that the market was consolidating above $11,000. On Sunday, bitcoin’s price fluctuated in a $380 band on Bitstamp, based on latest available data.

Bitcoin’s trade volumes have declined substantially in recent weeks, with 24-hour turnover falling to around $1.1 billion. That figure represents bitcoin’s ‘real 10’ spot volume on verified exchanges like Binance, Coinbase, Kraken, Bitfinex and six others.

Ethereum saw limited movement on Sunday, and was last seen trading at $292.75, where it was virtually unchanged. XRP edged down 0.6% to $0.3951. Litecoin and bitcoin cash were each down by around 1%.

The most significant movement occurred outside of the top-ten, with privacy coin Monero jumping 5.3% to $101.71. Learn why Monero presents a fresh buy opportunity at current levels. 

ECB Shakeup – Good for Cryptocurrencies?

Crypto traders have been largely optimistic about the recent nomination of Christine Lagarde to President of the European Central Bank (ECB). The outgoing head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has spoken positively about cryptocurrencies, even going as far as implying that the global financial system may be underestimating the blockchain revolution.

Lagarde told CNBC back in April that digital assets are “clearly shaking the system,” but also cautioned that “we don’t want to shake the system so much that we lose the stability that is needed.”

Ironically, digital assets like bitcoin are flourishing precisely because of central-bank intervention, which has produced a generational inflation curve that has eroded the purchasing power of traditional currencies. For that reason, bitcoin has emerged as the world’s leading store of value – a trend that will likely intensify even without mass adoption. (In other words, bitcoin doesn’t need to become a payment system to continue growing in value.)

Lagarde is unlikely to become an outspoken backer of bitcoin, but her view on digital assets differs markedly from that of her predecessor Mario Draghi, who will continue running the ECB until his term ends in October. Draghi has described cryptocurrencies as “highly risky” assets and should not be considered currencies at all.

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