Word on the web: Cryptocurrencies climb higher

Across the board, cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and ethereum are at an all-time high
by Sally Abbotts

“The combined market capitalisation of all public cryptocurrencies has surged by almost 80% over the past month, as more than $20bn worth of new investment dollars has flooded the nascent market”, writes CoinDesk’s Charles Bovaird, pointing to data from CoinMarketCap that reveals that “the market cap for experimental blockchain-based cryptographic assets has ballooned from $27.8bn to $49.5bn” in just 30 days. 

Notably, the biggest increases are outside of the market’s leader, bitcoin. Bovaird reports that the total market cap of alternative cryptocurrencies, or 'altcoins', has risen to $23.5bn, an increase of more than 600% from some $3bn in early March.

Trader Jacob Eliosoff, who is quoted in the article, notes that many cryptocurrencies have surged in value: “Doge, dash, litecoin, stellar, gnosis ... practically every coin has surged.“ He adds that this development is ”a sign of unthinking buyers that will sell as soon as the tide turns“.

But not all market observers take this view. Managing partner of Binary Financial, Harry Yeh, is more optimistic, telling CoinDesk that there is still room for growth as investors pay attention to the larger gains in the sector. Similarly, Tim Enneking, chairman of Crypto Currency Fund, believes the price rise is certainly rapid, but it is “more like a buying opportunity” than a problem.

CoinDesk article
Bitcoin is still on its way upMeanwhile, according to a report by the Express’ Siobhan McFayden, well known cryptocurrency bitcoin could reach values of $4,000 within the year – after a new currency has entered the market.

“The introduction of litecoin, another electronic online currency, is adding to investor appetite as the rolling out of blockchain infrastructure gets set to revolutionise the future of the financial sector,” writes McFayden. According to the CoinDesk bitcoin price index, bitcoin has been on the up since April 2017, and is “rallying” in London, having swelled by over 33% in 30 days.

But global regulatory challenges continue to affect the market, says McFayden, particularly in the US where President Donald Trump is looking at deregulating markets. Notably, a bitcoin exchange-traded fund was recently denied by the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

In contrast, other regions of the world are heading in the opposite direction. In Japan, for example, cryptocurrency has recently been legalised as a payment method.

Express article
A trending highA different currency, ethereum, is also making headlines. According to CryptocoinsNews’ Justin O’Connell, “the Google search query for ‘buy ethereum’ is trending at all-time highs”, with a concurrent sharp rise in price. Year-to-date, the cryptocurrency’s native digital token ‘ether’ has returned over 900%.

Ethereum recently exceeded the $100 handle for the first time in history – the price of ether was just $8 in January, and soared by 65% in April to the $80 handle. “Ether tokens, first sold to the public in 2015, are up more than 3,000% from their original sale price,” says O’Connell.

The predicted potential market value of bitcoin by the end of the year
Quite why it has happened, no one can be certain. Some analysts have said it is a sign of ethereum’s “sturdy fundamentals”, he writes, but when one considers that almost every cryptocurrency listed on CoinMarketCap is trading in green, it suggests there is a wider reasoning.  

O’Connell further notes that ethereum has been experimented on by multinational corporations and financial institutions, and is “one of many types of crypto assets”. Chris Burniske, blockchain expert for consumer adoption platform ARK, is quoted as saying that ethereum is a “crypto-commodity” because it provides access to what ethereum developers call a “decentralised world computer”.

Cryptocurrency markets are certainly on the rise, with those such as ethereum reaching all-time highs, but only time will tell if these currencies can continue their winning streak.

CryptocoinsNews article

Seen a blog, news story or discussion online that you think might interest CISI members? Email rosalie.starling@wardour.co.uk.
Published: 12 May 2017
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