Crypto Market Slips Below $120 Billion but Ethereum-Based Maker Defies Downtrend

Crypto markets pivoted lower on Thursday after a fresh wave of moderate selling swept altcoins and tokens. Ethereum-based Maker (MKR) has once again defied the odds as demand for stablecoins continued to rise.

Market Update

With the exception of stablecoins, virtually every cryptocurrency in the top 20 had reported losses on Thursday. EOS was one of the biggest losers within the top ten, falling 4.5% to $2.74. Binance Coin slipped 4.6% to $8.70. Litecoin dropped to 41.35, where it lost 3.3%. XRP and Ethereum were down slightly.

Bitcoin, the leading digital currency by market cap, edged down 0.7% to $3,607.77. Read: Bitcoin Price Defends Critical Level as Fees Plummet, Transactions Surge

Looking further down the market-cap index, Monero fell 5.3% to $47.50, IOTA lost 3.1% to $0.2647 and NEO drifted 5.7% lower to reach $7.85.

Tether (USDT), a dollar-backed stablecoin, gained 0.3% to $1.01. Fellow stablecoins USD Coin and TrueUSD also put up minor gains.

The total market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies fell to $119.8 billion. It peaked at $121.4 billion on Wednesday and was as high as $122.7 billion earlier in the week. Trade volumes also declined slightly but continued to hold above $20 billion, according to CoinMarketCap.

Crypto markets have managed to hold most of their gains since Friday, when asset values rose by $10 billion.

Maker (MKR) Maintains Elevated Status

A lesser-known cryptocurrency by the name of Maker continued to climb on Thursday, though it wasn’t entirely clear that the rally was authentic. At the time of writing, MKR was up 4.5% at $543.94, according to CoinMarketCap. The price briefly exceeded $700 on several exchanges due to an error in calculating the token supply following a large-scale migration of development funds.

But even while accounting for this error, the blockchain network has gained 36% over the past seven days, far exceeding Litecoin’s 23% surge. As Hacked reported, Litecoin was at the center of a dramatic relief rally for cryptocurrencies on Friday.

The MKR price is currently trading at its highest level since early October. Its value relative to bitcoin rose 4.9% on Thursday to 0.15052261 BTC, the highest in over a year.

Maker has at various stages in its development been able to outperform its peers by a significant margin. The network offers a merger of sorts between blockchain technology and traditional finance. Its recent string of good fortune may be tied to the growing popularity of stablecoins. As the official website states, Maker is comprised of a stablecoin, collateral loans and decentralized governance.

MKR was added to Coinbase Pro during one of its expansion phases in December. More on this story here

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

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