Cryptocurrency Market Comes Within $4 Billion of New Yearly Low

Cryptocurrency prices extended their slide on Thursday, as the total market cap came within striking distance of new yearly lows, signaling the continuation of the bottoming process.

Market Update

The total value of cryptocurrencies reached a low of $119.2 billion on Thursday, falling within a comparable range of last month’s swing low. The crypto market cap reached $115 billion at the end of November, its lowest in over 14 months. At last check, the market had stabilized at $121.7 billion, according to CoinMarketCap.

The following chart illustrates the rise and subsequent fall of cryptocurrency prices over the past seven days. The market peaked at nearly $143 billion at the height of the recovery last week before the bears swooped in to thwart subsequent rally attempts.

Most of the major assets recorded sizable losses over the 24-hour period. Bitcoin was down nearly 2% at $3,824.36. XRP fell 2.4% to trade at $0.3400. Cryptocurrencies ranked 3-6 experienced even bigger losses, with Ethereum, Stellar XLM, bitcoin cash and EOS falling between 6.4% and 15%.

Bitcoin cash was the biggest loser percentage wise as the fifth largest cryptocurrency continued to trade in uncharted territory. At the time of writing, BCH/USD was trading just below $120.

Bitcoin and other major cryptocurrencies witnessed a sizable increase in trade volume, with derivatives platform BitMEX accounting for a growing share of BTC transactions. This is a clear signal that short sellers had regained control of the market. As Hacked recently reported, BitMEX on Thursday accounted for 27% of bitcoin’s daily turnover on virtual currency exchanges.

Total turnover on exchanges reached $15 billion, a gain of $1.5 billion compared with Wednesday.

The broad selloff has given bitcoin a nearly 55% share of the cryptocurrency market cap. That’s the highest level in two-and-a-half months.

Search for a Bottom Continues

The cryptocurrency market appears destined for new yearly lows, as the bulls remain unconvinced by last week’s rally. In this environment, bitcoin has exerted a much stronger gravitational pull on its peers. The leading digital currency briefly traded below $3,700 on Thursday, where it came within $300 of a new yearly bottom.

Roughly three-quarters of major cryptocurrencies are down 90% or more from their record highs. With numbers of these, it’s fair to assume that the mania that accompanied the 2018 rally has all but faded. For long-term investors, the next major milestone appears to be institutional adoption of cryptocurrencies and the concerted push to launch fully regulated security token exchanges. These efforts are very much in development.

As Hacked reported on Wednesday, Wall Street is ramping up its effort to make cryptocurrency trading more viable for institutional investors. The latest development in pursuit of that goal came from Nasdaq Ventures and Fidelity, which are among a large stable of influential companies backing an up-and-coming cryptocurrency exchange by the name of ErisX. The new exchange is scheduled for release sometime in 2019.

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