Cryptocurrency Market Overview: 22 Jan 18
Last week was a big week for the cryptocurrencies, with the South Korean government once more wreaking havoc, following the government’s 2nd U-turn on its intentions vis-à-vis the country’s crypto exchanges.
If investors thought that they were out of the woods going into the week, the slump on Wednesday saw the cryptocurrencies take another dive mid-week.
As the week progressed however, the more seasoned investors showed relative calm, with the virtual nature of cryptocurrency trading allowing investors to circumvent domestic regulations should the need arise. Governments and regulators have been slow to catch up on the blockchain tech and, while the Korean government bared its teeth, the exchanges are more than likely able to relocate their operations to crypto friendly jurisdictions in the event of a ban.
While markets were in some disarray following the previous week’s slump, which saw Bitcoin fall to $12,000 levels, the slide to a low-$9,222 last week would certainly have been a more eye-watering experience for many investors, with the cryptomarket’s total market cap seeing more than $300bn wiped out last Wednesday as investors pulled out in panic.
Bitcoin managed to recover to $11,612.5 by Friday’s close to leave the crypto down just 14.9% for the week, which was certainly better than many its peers.
Ripple, Ethereum and Bitcoin Cash
Bitcoin may have had the attention of the masses, but it was certainly not the worst performer mid-week, with Ripple sliding from $2.0 levels hit at the start of the week to a week low $0.87114 and Ethereum giving up $1,000 levels to hit $757.
Bitcoin Cash began to garner more attention, with some of the market experts beginning to project a Bitcoin Cash yearlong rally, with transaction times and transaction fees favouring the use of Bitcoin Cash over Bitcoin as an alternative to fiat money.
Bitcoin Cash chatter failed to drive Bitcoin Cash’s market cap up the rankings however, holding in 4th place behind Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple going into the weekend. While Bitcoin Cash gained 31% from Wednesday’s low, it was still down 29.9% for the week, outgunned by Bitcoin this time around.
Resilience in the markets was ultimately in place, with the cryptocurrencies in recovery mode through the latter part of Thursday.
Ripple rallied 76% from Wednesday’s low to end the week down 17.5% to $1.49707, with Ethereum gaining 37.6% from Wednesday’s low to $1,041.56 by the end of the week, down 23.7%.
The Best of the Rest
Amongst the other altcoins at the top end of the rankings by market cap were Stellar Lumens, Cardano and Litecoin, which didn’t go unnoticed through the week.
Stellar Lumens slipped 19.6% through the week, whilst rallying 72.6% from Wednesday’s $0.2982 low, to outperform many of the major cryptos. Cardano and Litecoin slipped 14.05% and 18.4% respectively, Cardano the best performer of the pack, supported by a 56.3% recovery through the latter part of the week.
For the markets it wasn’t just chatter from the South Korean government that raised concerns over the outlook towards the cryptomarkets however, with Bitconnect being forced to shut down its cryptocurrency exchange following notices from U.S regulators, on suspicion of running a Ponzi scheme.
The Indonesian government’s crackdown also continued, with the government taking a greater interest in the use of Bitcoin for transactions in Bali, though for Bitcoin investors, Indonesia is unlikely to have a material impact on direction.
While volatility is unlikely to abate any time soon, there are plenty of investors on the side lines. The dust will need to settle for investors to jump back in and the week ahead will be an interesting one for the cryptomarkets, with much will depending on government chatter.