Crypto Markets Walk Back Some of Their Gains as Altcoins Continue to Languish
Cryptocurrency prices pivoted lower in early Asian trading Wednesday, as altcoins and tokens continued to bleed market share relative to bitcoin following news that Bakkt will debut its futures platform next month.
Nineteen of the top 20 cryptocurrencies reported declines mid-week, with bitcoin losing 1.3% to $10,696.86, according to Coin360.
Bitcoin’s losses were more contained than its altcoin peers, as Ethereum slid further below $200 and XRP lost the 28-cent handle.
At the time of writing, Ethereum’s price was down 3.2% at $194.43.
XRP dipped 2.6% to $0.2724 and risks an imminent break below $0.20. XRP’s technical structures signal more selling in store for the so-called banker’s cryptocurrency.
Bitcoin cash dropped 3.3% to $313.07. Binance Coin was off by 2.4% to trade at $27.89.
The total cryptocurrency market cap is now worth just over $276 billion, down from almost $283 billion on Monday.
Bitcoin’s share of the overall market continues to grow and was last seen hovering at 69.3%. This so-called dominance rate has risen 18 percentage points this year and is fast approaching 28-month highs.
Report: WhatsApp to Launch Digital Payment Service in Indonesia
Facebook’s proposed Libra project is still under wraps over regulatory scrutiny, but that hasn’t stopped Facebook-owned WhatsApp from exploring a new digital payment service in Indonesia.
According to Reuters, the messaging app is currently in talks with ride hailing service Go-Jek, mobile payments company DANA and fin-tech startup OVO about a new digital payment services. Citing anonymous sources familiar with the matter, Reuters said WhatsApp doesn’t plan to offer peer-to-peer payment solutions in Indonesia, but will instead support payments via digital wallets.
While the new venture doesn’t have a crypto or blockchain component, it signals that Facebook is aggressively looking to transform the payments arena. If WhatsApp succeeds in Indonesia, the payment model could become a template for all emerging markets, the source told Reuters.
More than 38% of Indonesia’s 260 million people use WhatsApp. The country is home to the biggest economy in Southeast Asia.
As far as Libra goes, Facebook admitted in its most recent filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that the project may never see the light of day. The cryptocurrency was supposed to be released early next year along with a dedicated wallet service called Calibra. Officially, the project is still a go, according to the official website. It remains to be seen whether regulatory scrutiny will stand in the way.
Facebook debuted Libra about two months ago in a lengthy whitepaper that disclosed the technical specifications and purpose behind the coin.
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. Chart via CoinMarketCap.