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Crypto Market Sheds $50 Billion on Perceived Regulatory Risks

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The global cryptocurrency market suffered huge declines on Thursday, with most major coins down double-digit percentages on reports of increased regulation in India.

Broad Declines

The selloff on Thursday mirrored similar corrections throughout the month of January. With the exception of DigixDAO (DGD), all 100 of the top cryptocurrencies traded lower, according to data provider CoinMarketCap. Double-digit losses were common, with the likes of bitcoin, Ripple, Cardano, Stellar and Litecoin falling 10% or more.

Bitcoin briefly fell below $9,000, reaching its lowest level since November. Ripple XRP, the fastest growing currency of 2017, also fell back below the $1.00 mark.

In terms of total market cap, cryptocurrencies sunk to a low of $452 billion. Bitcoin, once the overwhelming favorite, has seen its total market share drop to around 33%.

Thursday’s trade volumes averaged roughly $26 billion, with bitcoin accounting for 34% of the trades.

Uncertainty, Controversy Weigh on Market

The latest collapse followed reports that India was planning new restrictions on cryptocurrency trading. In a speech before parliament, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the government would clamp down on the use of crypto assets to finance illegal activities. Many mainstream media outlets took this to mean an all-out ban on cryptocurrency. This is somewhat confusing, given that India already considers cryptocurrencies to be illegitimate.

Regulatory uncertainty continues to be the thorniest issue facing global cryptocurrency markets. Last month, concerns over a tighter clampdown on South Korean exchanges triggered one of the biggest two-day selloffs in history.

Markets are also on edge over fears that bitcoin prices may have been artificially inflated by digital currency exchange Bitfinex, which was recently subpoenaed by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) along with Tether, a crypto startup with the same executives.

Tether is a unique case because it is supposedly backed by U.S. dollars. However, analysts have questioned the voracity of those claims, with some arguing that Tether is issuing new coins to inflate the value of bitcoin to cover solvency issues.

The price of bitcoin ballooned to the $20,000 range in December, bringing its total market cap to $330 billion. The coin’s total market value has fallen to less than half that level.

Analysts bullish on bitcoin believe now to be the biggest buying opportunity. Most medium-term price forecasts share the view that BTC is likely headed higher, although the road to getting there will be volatile.

Market strategy firm Fundstrat recently gave bitcoin a year-end price target of $25,000. Others, such as cryptocurrency asset manager Jeet Singh, believe bitcoin could reach $50,000 by the end of the year.

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.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.6 stars on average, based on 544 rated postsSam Bourgi is Chief Editor to Hacked.com, where he specializes in cryptocurrency, economics and the broader financial markets. Sam has nearly eight years of progressive experience as an analyst, writer and financial market commentator where he has contributed to the world's foremost newscasts.




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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. eocc12

    February 2, 2018 at 6:42 pm

    “the voracity of those claims” You meant ‘veracity’ I imagine.

  2. snow4me

    February 3, 2018 at 10:45 pm

    Well if you want to control the crypto market simply take it from $150B or so in August 2017 to $790B then unleash your trade bots using an algorithm to incrementally dump the market. Sure bet to make sure your short position in the BTC future markets pay off?

    Reverse when you are ready to make your longs pay off? Meanwhile you have positions up and down the top 100 cryptos to play your games there, IMHO. Now who has that kind of cash to do such a thing? The wild card in this for that gang is how much $$$ comes in from the Asian markets.

    So from here on out it will be a game of some how trying to deal with these bot trading mechanisms, and Lord help anyone who thinks they can day trade this stuff unless you truly are a professional. The interesting thing is you can buy your own algorithm programs and I sure hope you know how to program it.

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Altcoins

Augur (REP) Backtracks to 16-Month Lows; Aurora (AOA) Falls Away

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Augur (REP) fell 24% throughout Tuesday on its way to a token valuation last seen in April of last year. Daily volumes have halved for the decentralized prediction market platform as today’s sell-off accelerates the process that began on August 7th with the Bitcoin drop-off.

Augur Backtracks to April 2017

In one of the most elongated price reversals in the market cap top one hundred, Augur has gone beyond mere yearly lows in its descent to the price of $15.16, recorded just a few hours ago. That’s down from the daily high of $19.96 recorded 24 hours ago – it has been nothing but descent for Augur since then.

The weekly numbers look no better, with 42% losses for the week. The month looks much better in comparison, with 46% losses over thirty days, thus showing the extent of just how bad this past week has been. A rebound is being attempted at the time of writing, as the price pushes back up to the $15.30 range.

Augur made a splash in the daily news cycle in recent weeks with its assassination markets – a feature open to be used, or created by any user on the Augur platform. The heat died down after the initial splash, which saw around $1.5 million worth of bets placed on various markets.

Sudden Influx From Korea

After seeing no more than a $3-$5 million daily volume for the entire week, Augur suddenly felt a sudden influx of $60 million on August 13th. The volume peaked overnight at $61 million before a massive reduction sent it back down to $27 million from which it continues to fall.

Right now, $23 million of that sum is coming from REP/KRW trades emanating from Bithumb – that’s 81.5% of the daily volume. The subsequent REP price on Bithumb has climbed as high as $167, although that price has been excluded from CMC’s readings.

Aurora Falls Off

The worst losses for the day have come from Aurora (AOA) which is down 45% at the time of writing. Aurora has been sinking all week long to the tune of 66% losses over seven days.

Aurora was listed on Kucoin in June, and has been hailed (by some) as (yet another) contender for Ethereum’s crown as king of the dApps. But besides a recently launched bug bounty program not much seems to be happening over at Aurora at the moment.

While it’s fun to speculate on why Aurora has taken the worst of the hit, it may have something to do with the fact that it is only available for trading on one exchange – the aforementioned Kucoin. Today on Kucoin AOA/ETH trades were the most popular; perhaps a sign that the current low Ethereum prices proved more attractive than holding onto AOA for any longer.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock. 

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.4 stars on average, based on 38 rated postsGreg Thomson is a full-time crypto writer and digital nomad. He eats ICOs for breakfast and bleeds altcoins. Wherever he lays his public key is his home.




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Altcoins

The Long-Awaited Altcoin Extinction Event May Be Near

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The cryptocurrency market is undergoing a major paradigm shift as low-quality altcoins embark on a mass extinction event, according to Xapo President Ted Rogers. This view, which is shared by industry titans like Vitalik Buterin, suggests things will get a lot worse before they get better.

Mass Extinction

In a Monday tweet, Rogers warned that more than 90% of altcoins and tokens could disappear in the not-too-distant future.

“We could be in the midst of the extinction-level event for “cryptoassets” that many maximalists have predicted. 90%+ of CoinMarketCap list will disappear eventually – might as well happen now.  Meantime, lower BTC price means incredible opportunity to buy more bitcoin,” he said.

Rogers’ tweet echoes previous comments by Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin, who believes that 90% of tokens listed on CoinMarketCap will go to zero. Buterin made the comments back in October during the historic run-up in cryptocurrency prices.

Whereas Buterin emphasized the emergence of higher quality coin offerings following a mass-scale correction, Rogers believes now is the ideal time to buy more bitcoin. The leading digital currency continues to cannibalize altcoins with its share of the total market crossing 54% on Tuesday.

At the time of writing, there were 1,833 cryptocurrencies listed on CoinMarketCap. A couple hundred were added to the website’s tracker in the last few weeks.

ICO Cash-Out?

Crypto assets have shed roughly $220 billion over the past three months and are trading at less than a quarter of their all-time highs. Although the recent meltdown originated last Tuesday when the SEC communicated its non-decision on the VanEck SolidX Bitcoin ETF, the extent of the selloff suggests there are other factors in play.

With the bulk of the declines concentrated in altcoins and tokens, many are blaming the latest rout on a large-scale cash-out of initial coin offerings (ICOs). This has direct implications on Ethereum, which is one of the most important bellwethers of the ICO market.

The ether price has experienced an unprecedented drop over the past seven days, losing more than a third of its value to trade at its lowest level in 14 months. Previously, the developer’s cryptocurrency had shown resilience in the face of broader market moves.

While ICOs have raised more than $6.6 billion this year, investors appear to be selling too early. Short holding periods are placing significant pressure on the market.

Although the path forward is paved with uncertainty, a structural shift in the ICO market will ultimately benefit cryptocurrencies. As Buterin said last October, “there are some good ideas, there are a lot of very bad ideas, and there’s a lot of very, very bad ideas, and quite a few scams as well.” Cleaning up this image is a good thing even with the accompanying pain it has produced.

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. 

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.6 stars on average, based on 544 rated postsSam Bourgi is Chief Editor to Hacked.com, where he specializes in cryptocurrency, economics and the broader financial markets. Sam has nearly eight years of progressive experience as an analyst, writer and financial market commentator where he has contributed to the world's foremost newscasts.




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XRP Price Plunges Again; Down 93% from Record High 

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Ripple’s XRP fell on Tuesday to its lowest level of the year, highlighting collective panic in the cryptocurrency market following last week’s non-decision by the SEC concerning a highly touted bitcoin ETF. Although XRP’s losses aren’t unique, the so-called banker’s cryptocurrency is among the biggest losers in the top-ten.

XRP/USD Price Update

The XRP price fell 13.4% on Tuesday to a new yearly low of $0.262, according to CoinMarketCap. The decline puts XRP back 36% over the past seven days and a whopping 93% from its record high of $3.75.

At present values, XRP has a total market capitalization of $10.3 billion. Bitcoin cash, the fourth largest cryptocurrency by market cap, now trails XRP by less than $2 billion.

XRP’s 24-hour trade volumes amounted to $304 million, with Bitbank processing nearly one-fifth of the turnover.

Market Searches for Direction

As Hacked previously reported, the recent selloff began last Tuesday when the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) delayed a ruling on a keenly awaited bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF). From there, the market meltdown intensified amid signs that initial coin offerings (ICOs) are cashing out. Ethereum, whose protocol is responsible for at least three-quarters of ICOs, has declined to 14-month lows as a result.

With respect to ICO liquidation, Matthew Newton of eToro summed up the situation:

“The crypto market seems to have hit panic mode, with prices falling significantly across the board. As we can see in the case of ethereum, investors seem to be increasing liquidations of their ICO holdings, with significant drops in price and increased volumes.”

XRP’s fate, at least in the short-term, is tied to these broader market forces.

Ripple’s Regulatory Scrutiny

Unlike some of its well-known peers, XRP has faced growing scrutiny from regulators over its potential security status – so much so that Ripple Labs appears to have hired a PR company to remove the term “Ripple XRP” from online sources.

Ripple Labs has made it clear that the San Francisco-based company is not synonymous with the XRP currency, and that ownership of XRP does not give investors a stake in Ripple Labs. This is consistent with Hacked’s previous reporting on the matter, which showed the vast majority of Ripple’s business partners have not adopted XRP. In other words, banks and clearing companies have experimented with Ripple’s technology without adopting XRP as a base or quote currency.

On Aug. 11, a California district court dismissed a remand request related to a lawsuit against Ripple Labs by an investor seeking damages over alleged price manipulation. Plaintiff Ryan Coffey, a former XRP investor, sought to keep the case in the state’s lower courts rather than have the final verdict decided by a Federal judge.

The court issued the following statement:

“Having read the papers filed by the parties and carefully considered their arguments and the relevant legal authority, and good cause appearing, the court hereby DENIES plaintiff’s motion.”

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.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.6 stars on average, based on 544 rated postsSam Bourgi is Chief Editor to Hacked.com, where he specializes in cryptocurrency, economics and the broader financial markets. Sam has nearly eight years of progressive experience as an analyst, writer and financial market commentator where he has contributed to the world's foremost newscasts.




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