Crypto market experiences sudden price swings of 10% in both directions; Bitmain announces Ethereum ASIC miner – April 4

Shortly after the past weekend offered a glimmer of hope to cryptocurrency investors, the market has experienced another dramatic slowdown.

For instance, even though the Bitcoin managed to peaked at just above $7500 at some point over the past 24 hours, it dropped in value almost immediately afterward. At $6900, the cryptocurrency has lost over 7% in value and is, once again, trading at similar prices as a week ago.

The same can be said for the remainder of the market as well. Even though Ethereum briefly made its way past the $400 price point, the 7% decline it suffered also brought its price back down to sub-$380 levels. Thankfully, however, the dip is on the more conservative side as compared to the past few weeks.

Litecoin also repeated the same trend, rising to around $135 before falling back down to $118 almost as quickly as it shot up in the first place. Boh exhibiting similar sudden drops presumably motivated by the direction of Bitcoin, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash both declined by around 8% in total.

However, Stellar, NEO and Tron took the greatest hits with each of them declining by double digit percentages. In the case of TRX, the drop is perhaps just a market correction after its meteoric rise in value towards the end of March. At $0.30 though, it has lost close to 40% of its valuation within only a week.

It isn’t only the cryptocurrency market that has been in somewhat of a slump recently though. Following the end of the first quarter of 2018 on April 1, Bloomberg reported that traditional finance markets suffered their worst April start numbers since the 1929 Great Depression. To anyone following the world of finance, this should probably not come across as a big surprise, especially with the S&P 500 Index in a perpetual descent.

Experts from equity markets are also starting to believe that Bitcoin and Ethereum may turn out to be reliable stock market indicators and risk assets. Nevertheless, it is clear that the digital currency asset class has a long way to go before it is anywhere near its previous rally.

Top news stories from the crypto world

1. Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba sues Dubai-based company for copyright infringement

A Dubai-based blockchain company conveniently named “Alibabacoin Foundation” has now come under fire from the Chinese brand, Alibaba, for copyright infringement.

Court filings from the US District Court in Manhattan reveals that Alibaba claimed the Foundation to be engaged in “prominent, repeated and intentionally misleading” behavior. No public action has been taken against Alibabacoin Foundation as of yet though.

Alibaba founder, Jack Ma, has expressed some interest in blockchain technology, with the company even announcing a few pilot programs related to it. However, he remains skeptical on the idea of cryptocurrencies and will likely not allow Alibaba to venture into the industry given the partial ban imposed on the market by the Chinese government.

2. We’re monitoring extreme volatility of cryptocurrencies, says Federal Reserve Governor

Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard said the central bank is monitoring the “extreme volatility” of cryptocurrency prices, particularly bitcoin, but does not believe virtual currencies pose a current threat to U.S. financial stability.

Brainard made the remarks at the Stern School of Business in New York, where she warned investors to be cautious about “highly speculative” asset classes such as cryptocurrencies, and said the Fed will continue to study them.

“One area that the Federal Reserve is monitoring is the extreme volatility evidenced by some cryptocurrencies,” Brainard noted. “For instance, Bitcoin rose over 1,000 percent in 2017 and has fallen sharply in recent months. These markets may raise important investor and consumer protection issues, and some appear especially vulnerable to money-laundering concerns.” she added.

3. First Ethereum ASIC miners to hit the market as Bitmain starts taking pre-orders

Bitmain, best known for their Antminer series of ASIC miners, announced a new ASIC miner specifically for the Ethash algorithm, named the E3.

Even though the algorithm is supposed to be somewhat ASIC resistant, it is clear that the miner has been in development for quite some time now, especially with leaks pointing to its existence dating back a few months. It remains to be seen whether the Ethereum Foundation will retaliate and modify the algorithm to make the miner worthless.

Even though the E3 has an impressive hashrate of 180MH/s, its launch is confusing as Ethereum will soon be moving away from the proof of work consensus mechanism with the launch of the Casper project. According to tweets by Vitalik Buterin, the migration can be expected as early as next year.