Crypto Markets Remain Buoyant Following Holiday Slump; Former Wall Street Executive Touts Digital Assets

Cryptoassets saw modest gains on Saturday, as bitcoin gravitated toward $4,000 and major altcoins showed recovery potential. Gains have moderated in the last 12 hours, marked by a sharp drop in trade volumes.

Market Update

Bitcoin’s 7% surge on Friday set the stage for a broader market recovery following a tumultuous three days. The leading digital currency briefly traded above $4,000 on Saturday but has since fallen back to the low $3,900 range. That represents a substantial gain from the midweek low around $3,600.

XRP reached a high of $0.3839, having gained 8% during the session. It last traded at $0.3770.

Ethereum, the third largest cryptocurrency by market cap, climbed 4.7% to $142.53. ETH has narrowed the gap on XRP to less than $1 billion.

The altcoin and token recoveries pushed bitcoin’s market share back down to 51.6%.

For more information about crypto market share, read: Bitcoin’s Market Dominance Nears 50% for the First Time in Five Months

Most of the top-20 cryptocurrencies have recorded gains within 60 minutes of this publication, pushing the combined market cap back toward session highs. The market cap is currently valued at $132.8 billion, based on latest available data. CoinMarketCap reports daily trade volumes of $16 billion, down from a high near $19 billion on Friday.

Read about the latest market drivers in our Week in Review

Crypto Recovery 2019

A former Wall Street investor says cryptocurrency could become the best performing asset class of 2019. The reasoning: a crypto bear market has never coincided with a major downtrend in traditional assets, and the continuation of the latter could lead more investors into digital assets.

“Crypto has never existed during a bear market in traditional assets,” says Travis King, former executive of the multi-billion-dollar Point72 hedge fund. “BTC was birthed at the very beginning of the largest monetary experiment ever- globally coordinated QE. Ending QE is causing pain There is a significant chance Crypto is the best performing asset class in 2019.”

Equities have seen wild swings in recent weeks, marked by bear-market lows and record-setting rallies. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose nearly 1,100 points on Boxing Day after teetering on the edge of a bear market prior to the holiday. The broad S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite Index both fell to the bears earlier in the month.

Rising interest rates, slowing global growth and geopolitical tensions are expected to keep markets under pressure for the foreseeable future. The ever-present nature of these risks means the recent rally attempt may have just been a bear trap.

Investors are bracing for more volatility on Monday as the partial government shutdown in Washington enters its second week. Trade negotiations between the U.S. and China will also dominate the headlines heading into the new year. Progress has been achieved since both sides reached a truce in early December. However, a new comprehensive trade agreement remains far off at this stage.

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