Crypto Markets Stabilize in Low-Volume Trading; Kraken Value at $4 Billion

Cryptocurrency prices stabilized on Wednesday, stemming early-week volatility that pushed the majors toward new yearly lows. Kraken, one of the largest U.S.-based exchanges, has reached out to traders about a potential private offering.

No End to the Downtrend

The cryptocurrency market capitalization recovered around $111 billion early Wednesday after coming within striking distance of new yearly lows during the previous session. Despite the modest rally, some of the major cryptocurrencies could test new lows this week given the general lack of buying interest across the market.

At the time of writing, the top-ten coins had registered gains between 1% and 6% over the past 24 hours. Tether, a dollar-backed stablecoin, was trading above parity. The rise of Tether is a clear indication that investors are parking their capital on the sidelines in anticipation of further declines. It wasn’t too long ago that USDT was facing an existential crisis tied to its parent company’s lack of transparency.

In terms of percentage growth, the biggest gainers on Wednesday were outside the top-ten. Tezos (XTX), the 20th ranked coin by market cap, jumped 15% to $0.4128. XTZ received a boost after Huobi, one of the world’s leading crypto exchanges, announced the listing of the token as of Wednesday (GMT+8).

Binance Coin (BNB) also outpaced the broader market, gaining 8.5% to reach $5.02. This includes a gain of more than 6% against bitcoin. Against BTC, Binance Coin is little changed over the past month.

Overall trade volumes have fallen by $800 million over the past 24 hours, according to CoinMarketCap. Total daily turnover reached $12.2 billion.

Kraken Eyes Private Offering

Kraken, the world’s 26th largest exchange by adjusted volume, has reached out to its most prominent customers to prod their interest in a private offering. Emails obtained by Finance Magnates show that the company has approached traders with an investment opportunity. The selected recipients have been asked to fill out an online survey for additional information.

In the email, Kraken boasted significant capital reserves and assured traders that it did not need financing. The company is offering shares in support of a $4 billion valuation, according to the email. The minimum investment amount is $100,000.

“The transaction process will be done by a 3rd party service, who will run accredited investor checks, facilitate the execution of transaction documents, and the funding of your investment,” the email reads, according to Finance Magnates.

Recipients have until Dec. 16 to respond, after which Kraken will evaluate each potential investor’s eligibility.

Cryptocurrency exchanges have seen their business languish during the bear market. Interest in the Kraken offering will largely depend on whether existing clients believe that an imminent reversal is likely in the foreseeable future. That being said, institutions like Nasdaq Ventures and Fidelity have poured millions into exchange startups. ErisX, an up-and-coming exchange platform set to launch sometime next year, has raised $27.5 million from major investors.

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