Ethereum Plummets Below $200, Bitcoin Battles to Stay Above $6,400

News and Analysis

The price of Ether, the second largest cryptocurrency my market cap, fell dramatically on Saturday night breaching the $200 price level for the first time since July 2017. Over the last 24 hours ETH lost over 12 per cent and more than 35 per cent over the last seven days showing the worst performance among the CoinMarketCap Top-50 assets.

Updated: As of 09:30 UTC on Sunday Bitcoin price went sharply up reaching $6,400 again while ETH touched the $200 mark.

Ethereum is now sitting at $191.7 with more than 10 billion of Ether’s market cap wiped off over the last week, and at press time it comprised $19.5 billion – compared to the $30.1 billion on Monday, September 3.

Such sharp price decline is happening alongside the general negative market sentiment with the bears bringing Bitcoin price from $6,450 below the $6,200 mark on Saturday afternoon.

However, while prices of the majority of the most liquid altocoins often correlate with BTC Ethereum recently has been more inclined to its own patterns.

Speaking of this week’s events, the gradual decline in Ether prices has been witnessed with a number of curious statements appearing that could potentially influence the market. Jeremy Rubin, a technical advisor to Stellar and a Bitcoin Core contributor, pointed out that Ether’s value could go zero if smart contract owners pay gas payments (i.e. transaction fees) in ERC-20 tokens.

“If all the applications and their transactions can run without ETH, there’s no reason for ETH to be valuable,” wrote Rubin.

Earlier it was reported that Cboe Global Markets (CBOE) could launch Ethereum futures as soon as Q4 2018. This news immediately sparked speculation about the effect this vehicle could have on the market, with many optimists noting that futures contracts should help to propel the price, development, and maturation of Ethereum, and subsequently, the growth of the entire industry.

While many agreed with this hope, Tom Lee, the head of research at Fundstrat Global Advisors, expects this news to benefit the price of Bitcoin more than the price of ETH. Speaking to Business Insider, Lee, who is well-known for his seemingly undying bullish sentiment on Bitcoin, noted that Ether futures will allow speculators to weigh down on the price of ETH.

His claims seem to be corroborated by the historical price action of Bitcoin following the initial CBOE and CME futures release. Since Bitcoin futures debuted in mid-December of last year, prices tanked, with Bitcoin briefly touching $20,000 before tumbling to today’s lows.

Finally, in an interview with Bloomberg at an Ethereum and blockchain conference in Hong Kong, Vitalok Buterin said that “the blockchain space is getting to the point where there’s a ceiling in sight. If you talk to the average educated person at this point, they probably have heard of blockchain at least once.”

What this means is that “there isn’t an opportunity for yet another 1,000-times growth in anything in the space anymore.” Commenting on the first six or seven years of growth of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, Buterin said that it was dependent on marketing and trying to get wider adoption, but “that strategy is getting close to hitting a dead end.”

Shortly afterwards the price of Bitcoin lost almost $300 plummeting below $6,200, and while other altcoins went down as well, it was Ether’s trajectory that looked most interestingly with the cryptocurrency significantly losing its ground against BTC.

According to data provided by CoinMarketCap, as of 03:19 UTC on Sunday ETH was changing hands at $189.33, or 0.3060650 BTC.

It’s also worth noting that as of Sunday morning the number of shorts placed on ETH/USD on Bitfinex exchange reached a new all-time high of 239,402. Some 48 hours ago on Friday morning this number comprised slightly over 200,000.

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