Crypto Markets See Mostly Red as Altcoin Obituary Approaches 1,000 Entries

Cryptocurrency prices drifted mostly lower on Tuesday, as dwindling trade volumes during the holidays put a damper on the latest recovery attempt. A running log of ‘dead coins’ shows nearly 1,000 altcoins and tokens have died since the crypto boom began, mirroring our prior speculation about the looming altcoin extinction event.

Markets Drift Lower

The crypto market capitalization has failed to make headway this week, reflecting a sharp drop in trading activity since the weekend. Roughly $2 billion has exited the market in the last 24 hours and more than $7 billion since Saturday, according to CoinMarketCap. The market is currently valued at $125.7 billion on volumes of $12.6 billion.

Most of the top-20 cryptocurrencies were trading slightly lower through the afternoon. Bitcoin declined 1.7% to $3,730.75. The leading digital currency briefly returned above $4,000 on Friday before turning defensive. Read more: Bitcoin Marks New Year With Slight Decline; Mining Difficulty Rises for the First Time Since October.

XRP fell 1.2% to $0.3535, extending its seven-day slide to 6.2%. This has allowed Ethereum, the second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap, to narrow the gap to less than $500 million. Ether is down 1.6% on Tuesday to $134.39. However, the developer’s cryptocurrency has gained 4.4% week-on-week.

Tron, Cardano and IOTA were each down between 1.8% and 3%. Binance Coin, which has surged in the market rankings, fell 4.1% to $5.92.

Bitcoin cash and bitcoin SV were the only two projects to avoid losses. BCH was little changed at $158.99. BSV gained 4.8% to $90.71.

Altcoin Obituary

Cryptoassets have been in a bear market for the last 12 months, but the latest leg of the price collapse has been especially damaging. It therefore comes as no surprise that the so-called ‘altcoin obituary’ has grown steadily over the past two months. Bitcoin may have ‘died‘ 90 times in 2018, based on media reports, but the list of dead altcoins has reached 934 entries, according to Dead Coins.

The obituary tracks cryptocurrency projects that have disappeared from the market for various reasons, such as going out of business (“deceased”) or failing due to hacks and scams. Coins that served no purpose (“parody”) are also included.

At last check, CoinMarketCap tracked 2,073 cryptocurrency projects, despite 330 of them not having any measurable value.

Many observers of the blockchain ecosystem expect to see many more projects go out of business in the not-too-distant future. The ICO implosion has raised fresh fears about the future of Ethereum, whose protocol served as the launching pad for the vast majority of cryptocurrency projects in the last two years.

2018 was a record year for ICO fundraisers, but the amount of money raised has declined sharply since last summer. The amount of funding raised in November was $179.4 million, down from $913 million in June and $1.5 billion in January, according to ICOData.io.

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.

Author:
Chief Editor to Hacked.com and Contributor to CCN.com, 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