Cryptocurrency Market Approaches Yearly Low as Bitcoin, Ethereum Sell-Off

Crypto assets experienced a sharp and sudden decline on Saturday, bringing the total market cap to within $2 billion of a new yearly low. Ethereum’s decline was the most dramatic, as prices fell below $200 for the first time since July 2017.

Market Update

After treading water for much of Saturday, the cryptocurrency market took a sudden turn for the worse around 13:22 UTC. The market shed $10 billion over the next hour. The cryptocurrency market cap would eventually find a bottom at $191.7 billion.

Since peaking at $240 billion early last week, the cryptocurrency market has shed nearly $50 billion in value and is now approaching its lowest level in over a year. The market bottomed near $189 billion last month.

Bitcoin’s dominance rate shot up to 55.8%, the highest of the year, despite falling 4.3% to $$6,197, the lowest in over three weeks.

Ethereum collapsed 11% to $194 as its total market cap fell below $20 billion.

All major assets booked heavy losses on Saturday. Bitcoin cash fell 6.2% to $469, XRP declined 6.6% to $0.274 and EOS traded 7.7% lower at $4.70. Beyond the top-ten, Monero, IOTA, Tron and NEO each fell more than 8%, according to CoinMarketCap.

While there was no immediate catalyst for the decline, cryptocurrencies have been trapped in a bearish downtrend since Wednesday after multiple headlines instilled fear, uncertainty and doubt in the market. Profit-taking is also a factor following the weeks’ long recovery in prices.

ERC-20 Meltdown

Ethereum has been disproportionately affected by the latest market turbulence, having declined a staggering 34% over the past seven days and almost 42% in the last month. Initial coin offerings (ICOs) built on top of the Ethereum blockchain are down 9.1% over the past 24 hours and are now collectively valued at $12.3 billion, according to Ethplorer.io. There are a total of 847 ERC-20 tokens on the market. Their collective trade volume declined 4.5% on Saturday to $759 million.

The ICO market, which is largely built on Ethereum, has experienced a sharp slowdown in recent months. Cryptocurrency startups raised $337.4 million in August, the lowest since May 2017, according to ICOData.io. Initial coin offerings have raised nearly $7 billion this year, though more than half of that total came in just the first three months.

As is usually the case, the recent meltdown in cryptocurrency prices has defied logic. As Hacked reported, the market’s rapid decline appears to have been associated with speculation that Goldman Sachs was abandoning its plans to launch a cryptocurrency trading desk. However, those rumors were quickly put to rest by one of Goldman’s senior executives, who told a conference on Thursday that the bank was very much involved in the market. So far, investors have largely discounted or even ignored this revelation.

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.

Author:
Chief Editor to Hacked.com and Contributor to CCN.com, 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
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