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Top 10 Cryptocurrencies See Green After a Tumultuous Week

Bitcoin (BTC)–After one of the hardest hitting weeks to the crypto markets in an otherwise bearish year, the top ten currencies by market capitalization appear to be in recovery.

On Monday, the total market capilization of cryptocurrency dipped below $200 billion for the first time since last year, signaling a relative low from January 2018’s near-trillion dollar valuation. Altcoins in particular experienced a severe decline, with currencies across the board posting double-digit losses throughout the week.

Ethereum, an otherwise stalwart coin that has both developers and investors excited over, dropped to a valuation not seen since last year, making for a full retraction in value following the bull run to start the year. Various analysts disagreed over the exact reason for the plunging price of Ether, but two predominant theories emerged. The first was proposed by Biswas Das, director of crypto hedge fund BloomWater Capital, who blamed the ICO market for causing a decline in Ethereum. According to Das, the falling crypto markets in addition to jumpy venture capitalists were leading to a mass sell-off in the Ether collected for ICOs–in part to cover costs, but also to lock in profits ahead of a total market collapse,

“These startups are raising a lot of funds but they don’t have treasury management or enough cash management experience, so they’re selling too early and causing a lot of pressure in the market. It was fine last year but right now the the market is so fragile that it causes a lot of pressure.”

Arthur Hayes, CEO and co-founder of crypto exchange BitMex, echoed the sentiment that ICOs were hurting the price of Ethereum, making a bold claim that he believed price depression would lead to Ether dropping below $100.

While Ethereum benefited through most of 2017 and early 2018 from the massive boom in ICO development, of which almost every project is built upon the ERC-20 platform, the plunging price of crypto has led the initial coin offering venture capitalists to force sell Ether. However, in a statement to CCN, eToro’s Mati Greenspan blamed the sinking price of cryptocurrency and Ethereum on a strengthening dollar. According to Greenspan, efforts to stave off inflation in the United States is leading to a stronger dollar, which means investors have less incentive to shelter their funds from inflation in cryptocurrency, particularly with the massive price volatility currently wreaking havoc on the market,

“As the United States moves to tighten its economy and avoid strong inflation, they’re taking action that is strengthening the Dollar. Because the US Dollar is the global reserve currency, many smaller economies rely heavily on a stable exchange rate with the greenback. So too, as the Dollar is being seen as a stable store of value at the moment, there really isn’t much incentive for people to store their money in digital assets.”

Most of the market is still hinging upon a decision by the United States Securities and Exchange Commision (SEC) over whether to approve a Bitcoin Exchange-Traded Fund. The belief is still that institutional investors and most Wall Street players are waiting for greater government regulation in the cryptomarkets before entering, which has produced a large amount of interest over ETFs.

As of writing, total market capitalization was holding at $210 billion.

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Ethereum Co-Founder: Sinking Price of Crypto Will Not Hurt Growth

Ethereum (ETH)–Joseph Lubin, one of the co-founders to the second largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization Ethereum and current CEO of ConsenSys Inc., told Bloomberg in an interview published yesterday that he is not concerned with the sinking price of cryptocurrency or the overall impact it will have upon the growth of the industry.

While investors across the world reel from double-digit losses to extend an already taxing market in 2018, Lubin is confident that the industry will continue it’s march of adoption and growth that has characterized 2018 despite the otherwise bearish atmosphere. In particular, Lubin cites last December’s massive bull run, which bled over into the early weeks of 2018, as being bubble-like developments that are similar to price increases in the past. As Lubin points out, the past occurrence of BTC and cryptocurrency in general spiking in price, followed by a crash (hence creating multiple bubbles over time) is just par for the course, and each time getting slightly worse. While the bubble makes for a terrible experience to investors having to survive the bear market, it doesn’t indicate that the industry is failing in terms of development or adoptive achievement. Lubin claims there have been,

“six big bubbles, each more epic than the previous one, and each bubble is astonishing when they’re happening.”

Despite being all consuming during the bubble, looking back on the ebb and flow of the market reveals a more steady movement in price, which Lubin refers to as ‘pimples’ on the chart. He also finds, in some small part, the severity of the crash to be indicative of the industry’s growth. The most recent crash has been that much more severe due to the fact that cryptocurrency is spreading, ICOs are on the rise, more projects are being developed with intriguing concepts compelling investors to pour money into,

“…we build more fundamental infrastructure, we see a correction, and the potential gets even more impressive… I absolutely expect that there is a strong correlation between the rise in price and the growth of fundamental infrastructure in the ecosystem and the growth of development in the ecosystem. We are probably two orders of magnitude bigger as a developer community than we were eight or 10 months ago.”  

Lubin, like other leading authorities in the industry of cryptocurrency, blames part of the crash and price volatility on the large number of speculative investors swaying the market, creating unhealthy conditions and myopic goals. Lubin, who helped co-found Ethereum alongside the outspoken Vitalik Buterin, has put his primary focus on growing the cryptocurrency industry in terms of utility and building greater adoption rather than through a price-focused discourse. Having the market dominated by speculative-driven investors is not a proper indicator of how the actual industry and underlying technology is performing,

“So we can look at the price and make growth plans and projections, and we’re still on track, basically. So this is not unexpected.”

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ICOs Being Blamed for Ethereum (ETH) Sinking Price

Ethereum (ETH)–After a 16 percent decline in value over 24 hours, the price of Ethereum sunk to its lowest point in nearly a year. Trading a $265 as of writing, the second largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization has completely retraced the gains made following the beginning of the year’s massive bull run. While some have pointed to the overall state of the cryptomarkets as being bloated and unhealthy, with altcoins across the board experiencing double digit losses on the week, the head of crypto hedge fund BloomWater Capital is placing the blame on ICOs cashing out.

As Bloomberg points out, the massive number of ICOs being built on the Ethereum blockchain was the primary catalyst for Ether’s price gain throughout last year, in addition to the significant amount of development interest it generated. Now, the very same usability is leading to price decline that is outpacing Bitcoin, as investors who were previously purchasing ETH to participate in Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) are staying out of the market.

Considering that the majority of ICOs to come out in the past year have been built as ERC-20 tokens, it has made sense for investors to buy in with existing Ether coins. In addition, Ethereum has lower mining fees and faster average transaction times than Bitcoin, while still being a highly recognized coin. While previous reports have seen the ICO market double in volume through the first half of the year over 2017, existing ICOs are cashing out in massive volumes to cover the costs of the sinking crypto market. The result is a forced selling of Ether, driving the price of ETH down ahead of other top of the market coins like BTC.

Biswas Das, director of BloomWater Capital, blames the amateurish development filling the ICO space, which has far less regulation than typical startups and overall lower barrier to entry–both contributing to headaches for investors and would-be project speculators,

“These startups are raising a lot of funds but they don’t have treasury management or enough cash management experience, so they’re selling too early and causing a lot of pressure in the market. It was fine last year but right now the the market is so fragile that it causes a lot of pressure.”

As Das puts it, the fragility of the current market is unable to withstand the forced selling and downward pressure of ICOs cashing out to cover costs, causing Ethereum to drop to price levels not seen since the middle of last year. Bloomberg also points out growing concerns over the ability of Ethereum’s network to handle transactionary volume in addition to the ICO’s being built on the platform. The end result has been other platform-focused cryptocurrencies springing up in the interim, such as Cardano’s ADA and TRON’s TRX, to fill the void in investor skepticism over Ethereum being capable of handling the development volume.

Bloomberg also quotes Spencer Bogart of Blockchain Capital LLC, saying that general disillusionment in ICOs, in conjunction with growing stories of scams and outright profiteering has caused some backlash towards the platform that hosts the ERC-20 based tokens,

“Investors are increasingly disillusioned with tokens and ICOs, most of which have been launched on top of Ethereum and we’re seeing this play out in the market with continued downward price pressure.”

ICOs have managed to thrive despite the bearish market of 2018, however not without controversy. A study published earlier in the year found that 80 percent of ICOs could be classified as ‘scams.’

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