The Long-Awaited Altcoin Extinction Event May Be Near

The cryptocurrency market is undergoing a major paradigm shift as low-quality altcoins embark on a mass extinction event, according to Xapo President Ted Rogers. This view, which is shared by industry titans like Vitalik Buterin, suggests things will get a lot worse before they get better.

Mass Extinction

In a Monday tweet, Rogers warned that more than 90% of altcoins and tokens could disappear in the not-too-distant future.

“We could be in the midst of the extinction-level event for “cryptoassets” that many maximalists have predicted. 90%+ of CoinMarketCap list will disappear eventually – might as well happen now.  Meantime, lower BTC price means incredible opportunity to buy more bitcoin,” he said.

Rogers’ tweet echoes previous comments by Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin, who believes that 90% of tokens listed on CoinMarketCap will go to zero. Buterin made the comments back in October during the historic run-up in cryptocurrency prices.

Whereas Buterin emphasized the emergence of higher quality coin offerings following a mass-scale correction, Rogers believes now is the ideal time to buy more bitcoin. The leading digital currency continues to cannibalize altcoins with its share of the total market crossing 54% on Tuesday.

At the time of writing, there were 1,833 cryptocurrencies listed on CoinMarketCap. A couple hundred were added to the website’s tracker in the last few weeks.

ICO Cash-Out?

Crypto assets have shed roughly $220 billion over the past three months and are trading at less than a quarter of their all-time highs. Although the recent meltdown originated last Tuesday when the SEC communicated its non-decision on the VanEck SolidX Bitcoin ETF, the extent of the selloff suggests there are other factors in play.

With the bulk of the declines concentrated in altcoins and tokens, many are blaming the latest rout on a large-scale cash-out of initial coin offerings (ICOs). This has direct implications on Ethereum, which is one of the most important bellwethers of the ICO market.

The ether price has experienced an unprecedented drop over the past seven days, losing more than a third of its value to trade at its lowest level in 14 months. Previously, the developer’s cryptocurrency had shown resilience in the face of broader market moves.

While ICOs have raised more than $6.6 billion this year, investors appear to be selling too early. Short holding periods are placing significant pressure on the market.

Although the path forward is paved with uncertainty, a structural shift in the ICO market will ultimately benefit cryptocurrencies. As Buterin said last October, “there are some good ideas, there are a lot of very bad ideas, and there’s a lot of very, very bad ideas, and quite a few scams as well.” Cleaning up this image is a good thing even with the accompanying pain it has produced.

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