After a mild weekend demonstrating little to no volatility, the cryptocurrency market has cumulatively taken another plunge downward, albeit only by a small amount this time.
While Bitcoin is not necessarily close to its latest lows of around $7000, it did lose 5% overnight and currently sits at $8100.
Even cryptocurrencies that have had relatively strong showings over the past few weeks tell a similar tale, with the resilient Litecoin finding support just under $150.
Ethereum broke the $500 threshold for the second time this month and, at $480, is barely a few dollars higher than the recent low of $470. If the market continues to decline over the next day, it would be safe to say that the currency will attain a new low since November 2017.
With the US Fed rate hike being announced last week, it is perhaps likely that people are more motivated to invest in assets that provide better yields. Furthermore, a stronger dollar is the exact opposite of what a decentralized currency like Bitcoin is trying to achieve. Rate hikes are notoriously known to affect assets used as stores of wealth, such as gold and now, Bitcoin.
Even though the cryptocurrency market has not lost as much value as much as it did early last week, most currencies, including Bitcoin and Ethereum, are only reaching lower short-term highs before collapsing once again. Take, for instance, the fact that Bitcoin failed to break through the $9000 barrier for an extended duration. This phenomenon may represent a long-term slowing down of any bullish sentiment that existed in the market.
Top Stories from the Crypto World
1. Israel Securities Authority to only classify some cryptocurrencies as securities
In a rather unconventional decision, Israel has declared that it will not consider the entire digital currency ecosystem to be a security. Instead, the Securities Authority will review tokens based on their intended use-case.
If enforced, the ISA’s recommendation will exempt Bitcoin and other traditional altcoins from adhering to strict securities-related laws. Tokens distributed by a company during an initial coin offering, however, will not receive a similar treatment and will be classified as an investment vehicle.
In other words, “if the token cannot be used when it is issued or if it can be traded on a secondary market, these may be indications that its acquisition was made for investment rather than for consumption purposes.”
Israel has notably veered away from heavily regulating the cryptocurrency market and, with this move, maintained its willingness to adapt new technological advances.
2. China filed most blockchain-related patents last year
According to a report by Financial Times published March 25, China made the most patent applications involving blockchain technology to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in 2017.
Additional data obtained from the WIPO indicates that out of a total of 406 blockchain-related patents published globally in the past year, China was responsible for 225 of them alone. The US and Australia were distant runner-ups with 91 and 13 patents respectively.
Interestingly, China has stated that it does not welcome digital currencies in any capacity. However, it is clearly completely open to any future applications of blockchain technology. The Chinese government is also looking to integrate blockchains into its banking and governance infrastructure.
3. Monero developers actively tweak currency to make it more ASIC-resistant
In response to Bitmain releasing its new ASIC miner X3 aimed specifically at Monero mining, core developer of the currency, Riccardo Spagni, has stated that an update will render the device effectively useless.
The upcoming update has been named Lithium Luna and “slightly changes the proof-of-work algorithm to prevent DoS attacks by ASICs.”
Most cryptocurrencies using the CryptoNight mining algorithm, including Monero, boast ASIC-resistance so that anyone with a CPU or GPU can contribute hashing power to the network. The approach, some believe, helps increase decentralization since ASICs are difficult to obtain and run by common users of a currency.