Crypto Market Establishes New Year-To-Date Low, Ethereum Nears Double-Digits
To the dismay of cryptocurrency investors worldwide, while Black Friday, the international embodiment of capitalism, has come ever closer, Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and a majority of altcoins have continued their leg lower.
This aftershock of-sorts, which recently sent BTC below $4,300 and sent Ethereum falling to $120, comes after a week of near-non-stop selling pressure that began on Wednesday the 14th. As you are likely aware of, on the aforementioned date, which has been dubbed the “eve of Bitcoin Cash’s hard fork,” the market experienced an influx of selling pressure after weeks of non-action, sending BTC and ETH plummeting through supposed levels of support.
Although the cryptocurrency market expressed a semblance of stability after the sell-off, on Thursday afternoon at around 1:00 am (GMT) on Friday, BTC collapsed further, quickly moving under the $4,500 base that it established in the days prior. At the time of writing, BTC is valued at $4,250 a pop, down 78% from its all-time high of $20,000.
Today’s move marks the second time that BTC has fallen under $4,300 in recent memory. Ethereum followed close behind the cryptocurrency ‘godfather’, experiencing a ~7% drop from $130 to $120, nearing Arthur Hayes’ vision of ETH becoming a “double-digit s*itcoin”.
As normally the case, altcoins followed close behind BTC, ETH, and XRP (down to $0.415 and -7% on the day), the three indisputable market leaders, with household names in this market posting losses of upwards of 10%, not an unfamiliar sight in the past week.
Due to this newfound bout of selling pressure, the aggregate value of all crypto assets has fallen to a new year-to-date low at $137 billion, the lowest this figure has been since mid-September 2017… ouch.
Again, like with the past week’s previous drawdowns, it hasn’t been all too clear if there’s been a catalyst(s) behind these bouts of apparent capitulation. Still, many have sought to speculate, drawing attention to a number of factors including:
- Bitcoin Cash’s contentious hard fork, which may have instilled more fear, than belief in crypto investors worldwide
- The SEC’s crackdown on ICOs and tokens deemed securities, catalyzing the collapse in the value of Ethereum
- An undisclosed/shadowed institutional sell-off
- Bakkt delaying its Bitcoin (BTC) futures release until January 24th
Susquehanna’s Bart “Crypto King” Smith, an outspoken cryptocurrency advocated and believer stated that as it stands, the relative unusability of fiat on-ramps is directly hampering the adoption of cryptocurrencies.
Smith elaborated on this point, before following up with another catalyst, noting:
A wealthy individual from the GI generation isn’t going to take a high-resolution photo of their drivers license to send it to a website, and then send them money. They want to invest in Fidelity or at Bank of America, so that has led to the second problem, which is without the capital on-ramp, liquidity has been very low. And so we’ve seen a stable price through the summer… [but] when those sellers come in, there’s no liquidity to absorb [those sales].
But, as aforementioned, it hasn’t been made apparent if these factors have truly affected the market, as many industry savants have claimed that the crypto market’s constituents have just been over-bought, simply put, no more, no less.
Title Image Courtesy of Janko Ferlič on Unsplash