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Cryptocurrencies Undergo Christmas Correction as Market Cap Plunges $190 Billion

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The global cryptocurrency market is undergoing a massive correction Friday, as bitcoin and the top-20 coins plunged at least 20% each. The massive decline follows weeks of unprecedented growth that took the global market cap well north of $650 billion.

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Cryptos Plunge

The combined value of all cryptocurrencies in circulation has plunged nearly $190 billion since Thursday, according to CoinMarketCap. At $464 billion, the market cap is at the lowest level since Dec. 12.

Trade volumes exceeded $43 billion over the past 24 hours, with bitcoin accounting for nearly 47% of the daily transactions.

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Bitcoin’s Dramatic Decline

The violent selloff was triggered by a 23% correction in bitcoin that sent prices below $12,000 on the Coinbase GDAX exchange. At press time, bitcoin was down 14% to $13,385. The decline shaved tens of billions of dollars from bitcoin’s market cap, which now stands at roughly $220 billion.

It was only last week that BTC/USD was testing new highs near $20,000 as rallied behind the introduction of bitcoin futures. But we wrote earlier, institutional investment is no guarantee that bitcoin will continue higher in the short term. The success of the derivatives contracts could depend on whether the so-called ‘bitcoin billionaires’ embrace these new markets. As it currently stands, about 1,000 investors hold roughly 40% of all bitcoin in circulation.

Altcoin Universe

All the major altcoins suffered huge losses Friday, a sign that the broader market was still following bitcoin’s lead. There were no immediate catalysts for the decline, which suggests that investors were taking profits after the record build up in recent weeks. As veteran cryptocurrency traders would attest, huge price swings in the market is fairly common.

Below is a recap of the major losers on Friday:

Cryptocurrency Price Daily Loss
Ethereum $662 15%
Bitcoin Cash $2,345 25%
Ripple XRP $0.9550 8%
Litecoin $193 36%
IOTA $3.82 25%
Cardano $0.3440 27%
Dash $856 25%
NEM $0.7617 21%
Bitcoin Gold $206 32%
Monero $293 31%

Despite the recent price collapse, 2018 is expected to be a huge year for cryptocurrency as more institutions embrace the alternative asset class. On Thursday, Goldman Sachs Group announced it was entering the cryptocurrency market. According to Bloomberg, the bank’s crypto traading desks should be ready in time for summer.

There’s also evidence that bitcoin derivatives contracts will continue to proliferate as Nasdaq gets ready to join CBOE and CME in offering futures trading. Recent activity at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) also suggests more firms are lining up to offer bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs). According to the SEC’s public filing system, two companies have recently submitted applications to launch a bitocin-based ETF.

 

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. 

 

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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Altcoins

NEO Shows Poise While Other Cryptocurrencies Struggle

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NEO has quietly emerged as one of 2018’s best performing cryptocurrencies, defying multiple market selloffs en route to new highs. The so-called Ethereum of China has also carved out a name for itself in the fast-growing ICO market, where it is now among a small handful of blockchains enabling startups to raise capital through the popular crowdfunding model.

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New Record Highs

NEO was the only major cryptocurrency to spike this weekend, even as bitcoin and Ethereum suffered declines. The coin pushed higher on Monday, hitting a new record of $205.46. It would later consolidate around $190 for a gain of 17%.

The latest rally gives NEO a market cap of $11.8 billion, putting it eighth among active cryptocurrencies. Trade volumes over the last 24 hours reached $1.5 billion with 65 million tokens in circulation. The majority of the turnover occurred on just two exchanges: Upbit and Binance.

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With the gain, NEO’s value has appreciated around 120% year-to-date. That’s nearly double the price growth of Ethereum, a comparable platform that recently took back the second seed on the crypto market cap leader board.

Ethereum of China

NEO’s trajectory over the last six months has mirrored Ethereum’s both in terms of value and project development. Its success is partly owed to ether, as both cryptocurrencies are based on smart contracts. NEO differs from Ethereum on several fronts, including the execution of C# code, which makes it more attractive for developers.

Beyond the hype, NEO provides developers with the toolbox to advance the smart economy by digitizing assets and automating the management of those assets through smart contracts. It is perhaps the only cryptocurrency that can succeed in a heavily regulated China, which only recently tightened the noose on cryptocurrency miners as part of its broad offensive against digital assets.

With the exception of Stellar Lumens, NEO is perhaps the only cryptocurrency not named Ethereum that is making inroads into the ICO market. Dozens of token raises have launched on the NEO platform, including 27 in the span of two days. Although China has banned ICOs, there’s a possibility that regulators may one day introduce a centralized model that will allow the government to oversee the entire process.

According to at least one metric, ICOs raised more than $6 billion last year, with December being the most successful month yet with more than $1.6 billion raised.

While this is merely speculation at this point, the Chinese ban on cryptocurrency was initiated just before the 19th National Congress of the National Party. The event, held every five years, is usually a showdown between communists die-hards who want to maintain the old system of central planning and those who are seeking more liberal reforms.

Regardless of China’s regulatory future, NEO appears poised to capitalize on any opportunity involving public blockchain. The company certainly has that ambition, and has shown no issue following national guidelines.

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. 

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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Altcoins

Ripple Crashes to 2018 Lows Amid Lingering Doubts Over South Korean Regulation

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Ripple took the plunge on Monday, falling to its lowest level in nearly three weeks as investors continued to ponder South Korea’s regulatory shakeup of the cryptocurrency market.

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XRP/USD Price Levels

Ripple’s native XRP token touched a session low of $1.47 on Monday, which represented a decline of more than 16%. The coin’s price was last seen hovering at $1.58 for a loss of 10%.

XRP briefly traded at its lowest level since Dec. 29. The token is currently testing the Jan. 11 low of around $1.57.

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At present values, Ripple is capitalized at $62 billion, according to CoinMarketCap. That’s roughly half of Ethereum, the world’s no. 2 digital currency system. Ripple had briefly claimed the second spot in the crypto charts before a brisk selloff knocked it from record highs.

Ripple ran into volatility last week after CoinMarketCap removed several South Korean exchanges from its listing due to “extreme divergences in prices from the rest of the world.” The action prompted a multi-billion-dollar selloff of XRP, which is traded heavily on the Korean peninsula.

Why is Ripple Plunging?

It has been a roller coaster two months for Ripple. The cryptocurrency has managed to distance itself from other altcoins thanks to growing institutional support from major banks, credit cards and clearing houses. News of major partnerships sent XRP north of $3.30 after New Year’s day. The gains were quickly followed by profit-taking that was followed by a sharp correction in the cryptocurrency market.

The latest drop is largely attributed to fears over pending South Korean regulations governing cryptocurrency. Hacked reported earlier that central authorities were looking to shut down anonymous trading on domestic exchanges, not ban cryptocurrencies entirely.

The initial shockwave was triggered by Justice Minister Park Sang-ki, who announced Thursday that his department was proposing a bill to regulate the crypto market. The Korean government later said it was considering a response to what it believes to be excessive speculation, but had not reached a decision.

Like other cryptocurrencies, Ripple’s record-breaking gains have been largely driven by South Korean trade desks. Of the nearly $2 billion in XRP tokens transacted Monday, roughly 55% were traded using the won, according to CoinMarketCap. Bithumb continues to be the biggest platform for XRP trades, followed by Upbit and HitBTC. Bithumb and Upbit are both based in South Korea.

It hasn’t been entirely negative for Ripple. The company recently announced a partnership with MoneyGram that will provide the remittance firm with instant liquidity. The partnership appears to be a pilot program, with MoneyGram testing XRP payment flows via xRapid, the cryptocurrency’s blockchain solution for real-time liquidity.

XRP has the ability to settle transactions within seconds, thereby enabling faster cross-border flows. Its potential is currently being explored across Asia’s financial district, giving XRP the unofficial distinction of being the banker’s cryptocurrency.

Ripple’s fundamentals as a transaction agent suggest it still has room to grow in a highly diverse cryptocurrency market. There’s also speculation that U.S.-based exchange Coinbase is considering XRP for its platform. The exchange only supports four cryptocurrencies at the moment, including bitcoin, Ethereum, bitcoin cash and Litecoin.

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. 

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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Tron Cryptocurrency to Partner With ‘Chinese Netflix’

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Cryptocurrency bloomer Tron (TRX) has announced a major partnership with a firm it calls the ‘Chinese Netflix’, a move that some say could set the project up for even more growth.

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Strategic Partnership

Tron founder Justin Sun took to Twitter on Wednesday to announce a new partnership deal with Baofeng, which is listed on the Shenzhen stock exchange. Sun, who has made quite the name for himself through clever marketing hype, issued the following statement:

“We #TRON are proud to announce the partnership with Baofeng group,” Sun tweeted Wednesday. “Baofeng, aka Chinese Netflix, boasts more than 200 million users as a video portal giant and has achieved 8 billion [Chinese yuan] listing in Shenzhen stock exchange (300431.SZ).”

Unlike other cryptocurrencies, Tron seeks to create a digital content platform directly on the blockchain. The primary goal of the platform is to give content creators new ways of owning and distributing their work without having to deal with intermediaries like Apple Store.

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The company recently announced a partnership with Singapore bicycle-sharing system oBike. There’s also speculation it could enter an agreement with Chinese e-commerce behemoth Alibaba.

Just last week, Tron became the latest altcoin to surge in value, joining the likes of Ripple and Litecoin near the top of the market cap chart. The project briefly overtook Litecoin in terms of overall market cap, which may have emboldened Sun to take a jab at LTC founder Charlie Lee.

In a Jan. 4 tweet, Sun seemed to criticize Lee for selling his Litecoin. In the same message, he reaffirmed his long-term commitment to the project through at least year 2020. Lee, aka @SatoshiLite, fired back with the following message:

“Congrats @justinsuntron, but you’re making the wrong comparison. You’ve printed over 34% for yourself ($6B!) versus LTC that I bought and mined. I also didn’t sell for 6 years, yet you’ve only locked yours up for only 2 years. Lock it up for 6 years if you’re really confident!”

TRX Price Levels

After a massive new-year surge, Tron’s value has drifted lower in recent days, placing it 11th among active cryptocurrencies with a market cap of $8.1 billion. The TRX token was last down 3.6% at around 12 cents U.S., according to CoinMarketCap. That’s around half peak levels from last week.

The Hong Kong-registered Binance was responsible for the vast majority of the $1.5 billion turnover in TRX.  The platform processed 50.5% of the total daily volume via TRX/BTC. An additional 22.8% of the daily volume came from the broker’s TRX/ETH cross.

Of course, Sun has also been vocal about the recent price drop in TRX. In a Wednesday tweet, he said the recent fluctuation in the cryptocurrency’s price was due to CoinMarketCap’s decision to exclude Korean exchanges from its pricing mechanism.

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. 

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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