Stocks, Cryptos Resume Plunge; ICE Postpones Bakkt Launch Until January 2019

U.S. stocks resumed their selloff on Tuesday, as the tech blowout extended to other segments of the market, pushing the major indexes into negative territory for the year. Cryptocurrencies crashed to fresh 13-month lows, as bitcoin’s elusive search for a bottom continued.

2018 Gains Reversed

All of Wall Street’s major indexes closed in negative territory, with the S&P 500 and Dow Jones erasing their yearly gains. The large-cap S&P 500 Index plunged 1.8% to 2,641.89. All 11 primary sectors finished in negative territory, with energy shares shouldering the biggest loss. A total of ten sectors reported losses of 1% or more.

All 30 companies tracked by the Dow Jones Industrial Average posted losses. The Dow 30 index settled down 554.24 points, or 2.2%, at 24,463.20.

The technology-focused Nasdaq Composite Index fell 1.7% to 6,908.50. That was the first time since April the index closed below 7,000.

Crypto Downturn Intensifies

The crypto downturn intensified on Tuesday, extending a weeklong selloff that wiped as much as $71 billion off the collective market cap. The combined value of all coins in circulation bottomed at $140.7 billion in the last 24 hours, levels not seen in over 13 months.

Bitcoin’s price touched new lows for the year, breaching the $4,300 threshold for the first time since October 2017. Bitcoin cash collapsed more than 32% on Tuesday to reach $225. Majors like Ethereum, XRP and Stellar Lumens all reported double-digit losses during the day.

Analysts and technical practitioners warn that further downside is likely in store for the cryptocurrency market, which continues to search for an elusive bottom. Bitcoin will continue to exert a gravitational pull on the market amid signs that some BTC miners are switching over to mine bitcoin cash.

Bakkt Launch Postponed

Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) is postponing the launch of its highly anticipated bitcoin trading platform until January to allow more time to onboard new clients, the global exchange operator announced Tuesday. Bakkt, as the platform is known, will initially facilitate the trading of physically-settled bitcoin futures contracts once it goes live on the new date of Jan. 24, 2019. Bakkt was initially scheduled to debut in mid-December.

Given the volume of interest in Bakkt and work required to get all of the pieces in place, we will now be targeting January 24, 2019 for our launch to ensure that our participants are ready to trade on Day 1,” Kelly Loeffler, Bakkt’s CEO, said in a Medium post.

As is often true with product launches, there are new processes, risks and mitigants to test and re-test, and in the case of crypto, a new asset class to which these resources are being applied. So it makes sense to adjust our timeline as we work with the industry toward launch.”

Bakkt is Corporate America’s largest venture into the cryptocurrency market, with partners like Microsoft and Starbucks joining a large consortium of dominant industry players looking to streamline adoption of digital assets.

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