Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Cryptocurrency–After months of relative price stability for cryptocurrency, a period which saw Bitcoin volatility drop below both tech stocks and the S&P 500, it appears the crypto markets are ready to resume their downward trend which has come to characterize 2018. On Nov. 14, investors watched as Bitcoin plummeted over 8 percent in value to below $6000, a figure that marks the lowest for the year and a far cry from December 2017’s last all-time high of close to $20,000.
Ether was also hit by the mass sell-off, posting a 10.5 percent loss as of writing with the downward trend in ETH looking to test $180 and below. As Ethereum’s price continues to slip relative to that of Bitcoin, more analysts are pointing out the drying Initial Coin Offering marketplace as a possible indication for ETH’s ongoing price struggles. Throughout 2017 and the beginning of this year, ICOs almost entirely relied upon the ERC-20 token as their model for development and launch.
While the end product for most of these ICOs has been fraudulent at best, with the vast majority failing to meet milestones promised to investors or even develop workable products months out from launch, the ERC-20 framework provided a strong investment opportunity for Ether accumulators. In addition, to have a promising future as a cryptocurrency, Dapp platform, and smart contract executor, the price of Ether was artificially inflated to meet the needs of ICO buys in, keeping the price high in conjunction with the rising ICO tide. Now that the market has seen pullback throughout 2018, with more developers turning to alternatives such as stablecoins, the price of ETH has slowly eroded to reflect the decline in ICO projects.
In addition to the slipping price of Bitcoin and Ether, the rest of the top ten coins by market capitalization experienced double-digit losses on the day, as well as the broader altcoin market. Bitcoin Cash was hit the hardest, falling more than 15 percentage points and retracing most of the value appreciated over the last week in an anticipation of Nov. 15th’s hard fork. While it appeared that excitement over BCH and the upcoming fork had re-ignited investment interest in the crypto markets, the price rally was short-lived. General user confusion over the coming split in BCH, in addition to the pumping price of Bitcoin Cash solely to obtain freshly minted forked coins has not had the lasting power that would have been expected from organic adoption.
As more investors hang upon the decision by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission over the approval of a Bitcoin Exchange-Traded Fund, thereby allowing the entrance of institutional investors and the billions they could add to the market cap, cryptocurrency enthusiasts are quick to point out the irony in 2018’s price fall. Despite slipping valuation for Bitcoin, Ethereum and other large name projects, adoption for crypto and blockchain is at an all-time high, with nearly every sector scrambling to find ways to integrate the novel technology and improve their bottom line. Likewise, enrollment for crypto and blockchain based educational courses is reaching a fever at colleges and universities across the globe, signifying the shifting landscape towards making cryptocurrency a legitimate tool as opposed to an ongoing chip for exchange-driven price speculation.
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