Cryptocurrencies – the Carnage Continues

The crypto currency market endured another day of severe losses on Monday and the selloff was showing no signs of abating on Tuesday morning as the prices of the majors such as Bitcoin and Ethereum continued to slide inexorably downward. In fact Bitcoin was flirting with a test position of $6,000 for most of Tuesday after having dropped by over 20% from Monday's high of around $7300. The largest crypto currency by market cap is now down by no less than 70% from its all-time high of around $20,000 achieved in mid-December. It's market cap has now declined to around $105 billion and analysts are insisting that this continue to fall further before some kind of turnaround is achieved.

Another big loser as expected when Bitcoin goes down, was Ripple which saw its price decline to below the $0.60 mark for the first time in almost two months. Although there was this considerable fall in price, the currency still retained its position of third in the total market cap although that has shrunk to around $23 billion. As already indicated, Ethereum also dropped sharply from a high of around $700 during the day to lows of well below $600. In fact Ethereum registered a staggering 30% decline in market cap over the past 24 hours - it was trading at close to $1000 just two days earlier - a drop of around 50%. Bitcoin Cash was perhaps the biggest loser of all with a drop of over 30% in price and is now trading in the high $700's. Whilst all coins declined sharply, Litecoin and Dash were down by around 20% overall which was below the average decline of all coins. The other minor currencies such as Stellar, Cardanao and NEON were all down by around 30% too indicating that the selloff was all across the board with all currencies suffering exponentially.

Both the Ripple price and Bitcoin Cash price declined by 13 percent in 24 hours reducing the third- and fourth-largest cryptocurrencies to present values of $0.75 and $1,017, respectively. They were to plunge far further during the night and on Tuesday. Fifth-ranked Cardano posted the worst performance of any top 10-cryptocurrenecy, plunging 18 percent to $0.34. EOS and Litecoin, meanwhile, returned single-day declines of 12 percent. Stellar, ranked eighth, declined nine percent for the day, which - demonstrating the severity of the downturn - was the best performance of any cryptocurrency ranked in the top 50, excluding the USD-pegged Tether.

NEO and NEM rounded out the top 10 with 24-hour declines of 14 percent and 17 percent, respectively, reducing their prices to $95 and $0.49. A whole lot of bad news has led to a huge downturn in the crypto economy with corresponding tanking of prices and there seems to be no end in sight to the downturn. Bitfinex is drawing the ire of the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission because the exchange site offers users an option to tether their currency to the American dollar. The suspicious thing about that is neither Bitfinex nor Tether can necessarily prove they have enough money in bank accounts to back up the USDT token. This indecision could have contributed to the disastrous performance of Bitcoin of late.

Overseas, India is cracking down on traders. The country's government is surveying transactions on multiple exchanges in order to try and collect tax revenue. Estimates hint that $3.5 billion in transactions has found its way through India in the last 17 months leading into 2018. And then there is South Korea. The country has no intention to ban cryptocurrency trading outright. But the government has taken steps to remove anonymity from the equation. South Korean traders must now use their real names. However the way the news was reported has had a bad effect on the performance of crypto currencies which are now fast approaching new lows and testing their sharp declines as well as investor's patience and nerves.