One thing is clear at this point; the cryptocurrency market is experiencing perhaps its worst week in years. The asset class leader, Bitcoin, lost approximately $500 in the past 24 hours yet again and is now seeing great volatility above and below the $7500 price point.
At the time of writing Bitcoin is trading at $7,440 representing a market cap of $126 billion — a decline of 7% in the past 24 hours.
Ethereum and Litecoin both continue to languish in a freefall that, so far, cannot be easily explained by anyone analyzing the cryptocurrency industry. On one hand, Ethereum has fallen far past its year-to-date low at $400, while on the other, Litecoin appears to be hurtling quickly towards its low-$100 support from a month prior.
Interestingly though, Bitcoin Cash was the day’s worst performer, losing about 14% of its value over the past 24 hours alone. At $750, it has declined almost 30% since earlier this month, when it was holding steady above the $1000 support level.
Stellar and NEO are also continuing to rapidly move downward, with both of them reaching valuations not seen since early December 2017, which was the start of the market’s tremendous bull run.
Surprisingly though, the highly controversial cryptocurrency, Tron (TRX), managed to subvert everyone’s expectations in this bear market. The primary reason for its newfound success appears to be the coin’s Testnet launch that is scheduled to occur within the next two days. Tron’s test net is a signal of maturity for the digital currency and, as such, will be a key influencing factor for its future growth. The hype behind the launch has also caused many investors to take sudden interest in Tron, causing its price to skyrocket to $0.48, representing a net gain of 26% this week.
Tron’s success also means that it has narrowly edged its way into the Top 10, beating IOTA, Monero and Dash from its initial #13 spot.
Top Stories from the Crypto World
1. Canada-based Bank of Montreal staff memo reveals ban on bitcoin purchases due to “volatility”
According to a Reddit post by an anonymous Bank of Montreal employee, an internal memo has been issued by the institution informing staff about a new anti-cryptocurrency policy.
The document reads, “Effective immediately, BMO will be blocking cryptocurrency merchant transactions. This decision was made due to the volatile nature of cryptocurrencies, and to better protect the security of our clients and the bank.”
Existing and new customers of the bank will, therefore, not be able to make any digital currency-related transactions using its infrastructure. The policy includes debit cards, credit cards and other similar modes of transfers. Old fashioned wire transfers, however, were not been mentioned.
2. Bitfinex shoots down rumors suggesting addition of Venezuelan cryptocurrency, Petro
Bitfinex, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges by trading volume, has released a press release stating that it does not wish to associate itself with the Venezuela’s state-backed digital token, Petro (PTR).
Referencing the recent executive order signed by US President, Donald Trump on the matter, the company’s statement continued, “In light of the U.S. sanctions and the other clear sanctions risks of dealing in these products, Bitfinex will not list or transact the PTR or other similar digital tokens.”
Given that Bitfinex has already been in the crosshairs of the SEC this past year, the move to not add the Petro to its trading platform is perhaps in its best interests. The token’s adoption rate outside of Venezuela is quite paltry too.
3. Two Japanese cryptocurrency exchanges to cease operations following the regulatory crackdown
A news report by the Asian news publication, Nikkei, has revealed that two more Japanese exchanges will withdraw their registration applications with the country’s Financial Services Agency (FSA).
The regulatory crackdown across Japan began earlier this year when Coincheck and other exchanges were hacked, losing close to half a billion dollars worth of investor money. The infamous exchange, Mt. Gox, that led to the collapse of bitcoin in 2013, was also based in Japan, motivating the authorities to step in.
So far, five different exchanges have withdrawn their applications within the span of three months. Mr. Exchange and Tokyo GateWay, the latest to drop out of the race, were ordered to improve data security and other safeguard measures earlier this month by the FSA.