Cryptocurrency Prices Approach One-Month Lows as Altcoins Plunge, Bitcoin Falls Below $8,000

Cryptocurrencies rose in overnight trading Thursday, as altcoins rebounded from a double-digit slump on the heels of the biggest blockchain summit of the year.

Altcoins Lead Recovery

All major crypto assets reported gains Thursday, clawing back nearly $18 billion in lost market cap from the previous day’s low. At press time, the combined value of all digital currencies in circulation was $389.3 billion, according to data provider CoinMarketCap. Market prices bottomed near $372 billion on Wednesday.

EOS and Tron were among the biggest gainers percentage-wise. EOS added more than 10% to $13.75, while Tron gained 11.1% to $0.073. Both currencies were down sharply earlier in the week.

Ripple XRP gained 4.5% to $0.711 and Ethereum rose 3.1% to $712.81.

Bitcoin cash also rebounded from a series of volatile moves after a hard fork upgrade increased the protocol’s block size to 32MB from 8MB. The value of BCH rose nearly 4% to $1,324.63.

Bitcoin prices gained 1.3% overnight to trade at $8,406.51. Its total share of the crypto market weakened to 36.8% after reaching 37.3% just a few hours earlier.

Positive Developments from the Blockchain Industry

The crypto market’s weak performance this week has masked an outpouring of positive developments from the blockchain industry.

On Tuesday, Hacked reported four key developments related to institutional adoption, innovation and the apparent vindication of South Korea’s Upbit exchange following an audit of its records by local accountants.

Positive news kept coming mid-week after Square Cash leapfrogged PayPal’s Venmo digital wallet in terms of downloads. This is an important development for crypto traders as Square Cash allows transactions in bitcoin.

Square Cash has been downloaded roughly 28 million times, which is just 1 million below Venmo’s levels, according to analyst Dan Dolev.

In a note to clients, Dolev issued the following statement:

“With Square Cash App now open for bitcoin trading in most states, comparing its growth versus the popular Coinbase app is noteworthy. Here, while Coinbase saw growth peak around the holiday time — as bitcoin prices spiked — Coinbase’s growth has slowed from record levels, whereas Square Cash App experienced more balanced growth.”

Meanwhile, a start-up company backed by Goldman Sachs has announced plans to mint its own dollar-pegged cryptocurrency. USD Coin, as it will come to be known, will allow users to more easily pay for goods and services through cryptocurrency.

Circle, the company behind the project, will begin work on the new coin this summer.

The fourth and most successful Consensus summit wrapped up in New York on Wednesday. One of the key takeaways from this year’s event was the warm reception from U.S. regulators toward digital currency technology.

In a Wednesday panel that included Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) enforcement director James McDonald and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) cyber chief Robert Cohen, regulators said they did not want to hinder blockchain innovation. Although the panelists did not represent their respective agencies during the discussion, their openness to blockchain technology is a step in the right direction for crypto investors still weary of government intervention.

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

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