Crypto Markets Turn Red Following Sunday Bounce; Bitmain Closes Israeli Operation

Cryptocurrency prices were back on the defensive Monday, with bitcoin and the major altcoins falling between 3% and 7% through the midday session. The latest bout of turbulence followed a modest relief rally on Sunday that once again proved to be short lived.

Market Update

The combined value of all coins in circulation reached a session low of $110.5 billion, according to CoinMarketCap. Losses were broad-based, with bitcoin falling 3.8% to $3,511. The leading digital currency has been consolidating incrementally lower over the past two weeks, with each subsequent high weaker than the last.

Among the majors, Ethereum, Stellar, bitcoin cash and Litecoin each fell more than 6%. In the process, Litecoin has fallen all the way down to no. 9 in the market cap rankings with a total value of $1.5 billion. It’s the last coin to have a billion-dollar market cap. Tron, which is ranked tenth following a daily loss of 4%, is valued at $878 million.

With the exception of stablecoins, nearly every cryptocurrency in the top-100 was down on Monday. DEX was a notable exception, with the coin extending its Sunday bounce with another 37% gain. DEX has jumped 23 spots in the market cap rankings over the pas 24 hours. A full recap of Sunday’s top performers can be found here.

The market as a whole has seen its market capitalization fall by half over the past month, culminating in a new 15-month low of $103.5 billion on Friday. From a peak near $840 billion in January, the market has shed a staggering 86% throughout the course of 2018.

Bitcoin Mining Suffers

As Hacked previously reported, the protracted bear market in cryptocurrencies has impacted not just investors, but businesses with direct and indirect exposure to digital assets. In terms of direct impact, very few segments of the ecosystem have been hit harder than bitcoin miners, which are currently operating at a significant loss. Hundreds of thousands of mining rigs have reportedly shut down amid the recent downturn.

Bitmain, the world’s largest blockchain conglomerate, has announced it is shutting down its Israeli operation following the recent meltdown. According to Globes, an Israeli publication, the China-based company has laid off all 23 employees.

“The crypto market has undergone a shakeup in the past few months, which has forced Bitmain to examine its various activities around the globe and refocus its business in accordance with the current situation,” Gadi Glikberg, VP of local operations, told employees.

Just five months ago, the China-based company was looking to triple the size of its Israeli offices. Over that period, roughly $200 billion has been wiped from the cryptocurrency market cap. Bitcoin alone has accounted for about $80 billion of that loss.

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