Stellar (XLM) Leads Modest Crypto Recovery; Facebook Libra Backers Backing Out?

Cryptocurrency markets staged a modest relief rally at the start of Monday’s Asian session, with Stellar (XLM), IOTA (MIOTA) and Ethereum Classic (ETC) leading a broad uptrend in altcoins. Bitcoin (BTC), which accounts for nearly 69% of the total market, approached $10,500 after successfully defending a key support level.

Market Update

The top ten cryptocurrencies by market cap all reported gains early Monday, with bitcoin climbing 3.5% to $10,493. The leading digital currency rallied back above $10,000 on Friday following the latest flare-up in U.S.-China trade tensions.

Stellar XLM, now ranked 11th by market cap, rose 8.1% to $0.0726. XLM is now trading at its highest level in about 11 days.

Lumens is riding a tailwind following the release of key technical upgrades that will allow the blockchain to support decentralized applications. To that end, the Stellar Foundation recently unveiled the new Horizon Go SDK along with several Java packages.

Despite the rally, the value of XLM has been cut in half since late June when it peaked at $0.1431.

Ethereum Classic was back on the offensive following a brief pause, gaining 4.5% to $7.24. ETC peaked at $7.64 on Friday after one of its developers confirmed that the blockchain will undergo a hard fork next month.

Further down the market-cap rankings, IOTA jumped 6.1% to $0.2757, a new three-week high.

The total value of all cryptocurrencies has increased by $9 billion from Sunday’s low. The combined market cap was last seen hovering just north of $272 billion, according to CoinMarketCap.

Libra Backers Backing Away?

Two months after Facebook debuted its Libra cryptocurrency, some of the project’s primary backers are getting cold feet, according to a new report from the Financial Times. Of the 28 entities that put their name behind Libra, at least two are considering backing out, possibly due to regulatory uncertainty.

The report didn’t indicate which of the 28 entities were considering cutting ties, but it did cite regulatory risks as the main motivation.

Facebook introduced Libra back in June with full backing from companies like Visa, Mastercard, Uber and Spotify. These and dozens of other formed the Libra Association, a Switzerland-based organization that will oversee the project’s implementation.

However, there’s no guarantee that Libra will ever see the light of day. In its most recent filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Facebook acknowledged that Libra may pose a risk to the company’s business, finances and reputation.

From the filing:

“Libra is based on relatively new and unproven technology, and the laws and regulations surrounding digital currency are uncertain and evolving. Libra has drawn significant scrutiny from governments and regulators in multiple jurisdictions and we expect that scrutiny to continue. As a primary sponsor of the initiative, we are participating in responses to inquiries from governments and regulators, and adverse government or regulatory actions or negative publicity resulting from such participation may adversely affect our reputation and harm our business.”

Facebook was planning to trial Libra later this year, with a full launch expected in early 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. Charts via CoinMarketCap.

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