Cryptocurrencies Pivot Lower but Optimism Over Institutional Adoption Builds

Bitcoin and its altcoin peers traded lower on Saturday, marking the sixth consecutive day of modest price action for digital assets as a whole. This time last weekend, crypto traders were orchestrating the largest pump-and-dump of 2019, with a peak-to-trough of $16 billion.

Crypto Market Update

The combined value of cryptocurrencies fell almost $2 billion on Saturday to $129.9 billion, according to CoinMarketCap. The asset class peaked near $133 billion on Friday before turning lower at the start of the weekend. Trade volumes have remained fairly constant over the past 24 hours, with daily turnover hovering just north of $24.6 billion.

Bitcoin’s price dipped 0.9% to $3,852.13, though its dominance rate climbed to 52.1%. Bitcoin returned more than 12% in February, snapping a brutal six-month losing streak.

Ethereum fell 3% to $133.84, as demand for the so-called developer’s cryptocurrency continued to ebb following two system-wide upgrades earlier in the week. Constantinople and St. Petersburg went live Thursday at block number 7,280,000.

The value of XRP declined 2.5% to $0.3138, where it remains well above vital support tracking near $0.3000.

At $3.49, EOS dropped 4.8% on Saturday. The Enterprise Operating System has a total capitalization of near $3.2 billion, some $800 million shy of its ICO market cap.

Litecoin’s price fell 0.8% to $48.21. Bitcoin cash lost 1.4% to trade at $132.27.

Binance Coin continued to defy the odds, gaining 1.4% to $11.61 and flipping Stellar for eighth spot on the crypto market index. The native token of the Binance exchange recently flipped Tron for ninth spot.

Read’s latest Week in Review: Bitcoin’s Longest Losing Streak Comes to an End; Facebook Readies Launch of WhatsApp Stablecoin

Institutional Adoption on the Rise

Crypto prices have largely discounted the wave of institutional adoption sweeping the market, but according to Blocktower chief investment officer Ari Paul, that discount is unlikely to continue for much longer.

At the beginning of February, Paul issued the following statement:

“I’ve been too optimistic about the pace of institutional adoption in the past. It’s coming, but I can’t estimate which quarter (Whether that’s this year or 2022) that we’ll see a big spike. As a humble guess, something like Q3 2019,”

Weeks later, Morgan Creek Digital’s Anthony Pompliano announced that two Virginia pension plans have become anchor investors in a cryptocurrency venture-capital fund.

But it doesn’t stop there.

Fidelity Investments is scheduled to launch its crypto custody service by the end of March, a move that could open the door to institutional investors who wanted to invest in bitcoin but were unwilling to deposit money on virtual exchanges. Julius Baer, one of Switzerland’s largest private banks, is also providing clients with access to cryptocurrencies.

Governments are also making a bigger splash in the crypto ecosystem through regulatory changes and key investments. The U.S. state of Wyoming has passed three blockchain bills designed to lure cryptocurrency investors and businesses to the region. It has also come to light that Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund has invested in Coinbase.

For more, read: Crypto Adoption is Spreading Like Wildfire; Where is Bitcoin Headed?

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