Wednesday brought a welcome change to the markets. The bitcoin and ethereum prices stabilized after yesterday’s plunge, slowing the widespread market decline and enabling some coins to experience moderate recoveries.
After dipping to about $78 billion on Tuesday, the total cryptocurrency market cap climbed back past $80 billion today. At present, the total value of all cryptocurrencies is about $83 billion.
The bitcoin price held steady on Wednesday, falling just 1% to $2,357 after multiple days of volatility. Bitcoin now has a market cap of $38.8 billion.
Bitcoin’s short-term prospects remain murky as the community has failed to reach consensus about network scaling solutions. Bitcoin Core developer BTCDrak, for instance, recently slammed the SegWit2x proposal as “technically and ethically appalling.”
On the other hand, bitcoin has been bolstered by some bullish financial news. Japanese electronics retail giant Bic Camera announced they would begin accepting bitcoin nationwide after their trial produced “more-than-expected” popularity for bitcoin payments. Japan is proving fertile ground for bitcoin adoption, and one analyst predicts more than 300,000 Japanese stores could accept bitcoin by the end of the year.
The ethereum price ticked upward on Wednesday, shaking off–at least temporarily–its prolonged decline. Today’s 0.5% increase brings the ethereum price to $206. CCN.com analyst Steve Kanaval says ethereum is currently trading at support levels and could return to $220 shortly.
At $19.2 billion, ethereum’s market cap remains less than half the size of bitcoin’s, but today’s reversal could be the first step back to the $20 billion mark.
The altcoin markets broke out of their slump on Wednesday, shedding their monochromatic hue as about half of the top coins experienced gains. For the first time in a while, no top-15 coin decreased by more than 10%, although IOTA came close.
Ethereum Classic led the altcoin advance, outpacing all other coins by a wide margin. The Ethereum Classic price rose 15% to about $18, bringing Ethereum Classic back to where it had been before last week’s slide.
Several other coins in the altcoin top 10 saw gains as well. The Litecoin and Dash prices each rose about 0.5%, to about $47 and 174, respectively. BitConnect, which recently rose to 10th place in the rankings, increased by 2% to about $58. Finally, the EOS price reversed course, increasing 3% to $1.77 following a weekly decline of 50%.
However, some altcoins continued their decline. The Ripple price inched downward to $0.188 after a 1% 24-hour decrease. Seventh-ranked NEM fell another 3% to $0.127, while ninth-place Monero fell 2% to $38. But no major altcoin fared worse than IOTA.
The IOTA price has a history of falling hard during market downturns, and that trend continued this week. For the past two days, IOTA has decreased further than any top-10 coin, falling 26% on Tuesday and 9% on Wednesday after experiencing a brief recovery. In just a week, the IOTA price has declined from $0.387 to $0.205, a decline of 47%.
The recent market downturn has afforded bitcoin the opportunity to gobble back up some of the market share it had lost during the bull run. At one point, bitcoin even appeared poised to capture a full half of the total crypto market cap. However, after rising as high as 49.6% on Tuesday, bitcoin failed to cross the 50% market share threshold. Bitcoin dominance currently sits at 47%.
Most of bitcoin’s recent gains have come at ethereum’s expense. After controlling as much as one-third of the market in mid-June, ethereum’s share has dropped to 23%. Ripple has also lost ground; its recent price decline has caused its share to fall from about 10% to 8.8%. Meanwhile, Litecoin has quietly doubled its market cap share this month, increasing from 1.4% on June 12 to 2.9% today.
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Last modified: March 4, 2021 4:58 PM