Buyers of Bitcoin woke up one December morning a year ago to a troubling sight: the cryptocurrency dropped in value by more than 30 percent overnight after spending month after month climbing to new highs.
Currently, according to the data provided by CoinMarketCap.Com, Bitcoin's capitalization makes $229B with the token traded on the highest price of $13 637.90 per unit.
Ether was until recently the second-largest cryptocurrency in terms of market cap. Looking back at the prediction at the closure of 2016, some cryptocurrency experts had predicted that it would hit the $3000 but as it is evident, it surpassed that mark by over $10000. The market cap of the cryptocurrency also surged from United States dollars 15.5 billion at the beginning of 2017 to USD 236.7 billion on December 31. While some argue that this goes against the cryptocurrency's original ideology as laid down in its whitepaper, others believe that it is a natural evolution for bitcoin.
If cryptocurrencies were to be branded as the most recent addition to the existing financial instruments, they would effortlessly take over the podium as the best-performing asset class in 2017. Reports after reports of authorities across the world clamping down on digital currencies, especially bitcoin, has led to a loss of over $150 billion in market capitalisation of the cryptocurrency market, Moneycontrol reports.
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Ethereum has enjoyed a strong showing since the start of 2018. Throw in all the other cryptocurrencies out there and the potential for instability skyrockets.
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The graph represents share or dominance of major cryptocurrencies in the global market cap of cryptocurrency market.
The first monthly Bitcoin future is due to expire next week, on January 17. Therefore, investors should remain cautious when trading bitcoin and other digital currencies. South Korean banks were reportedly planning investigations of six local banks that offered virtual currency accounts, and word out of China said the government was urging bitcoin miners to plan an "orderly exit" from the country.
The trends observed above can be explained by mainly two phenomena which disturbed the cryptocurrency market in 2017.
Goldman Sachs has stated that Bitcoin could be a blessing to the people who live in countries where the domestic currency continues to lose value due to inflation and supply mismanagement.
This brings to another phenomenon of the year, the increased incidence of initial coin offerings or ICOs.
At the time of writing, Litecoin was down 6.6% to $232.4, with this morning's decline far less material than its peers, with most of the cryptos seeing double digit declines in the early part of the day.