The cryptocurrency markets dipped below $170 billion on Monday, with traders expressing tepidity about a potential Japanese initial coin offering ban. Consequently, the ethereum price dropped below $290, and the majority of altcoins returned negative performance for the day. The bitcoin price, however, ticked up to $5,900, further solidifying its dominant hold on the markets.
The total cryptocurrency market cap had been positioned near $175 billion late last week as bitcoin scaled the charts to reach $6,000 for the first time, but it ebbed over the course of the weekend, eventually reaching $170.6 billion on Sunday. The decline continued on Monday, bringing the combined value of all cryptocurrencies to a present mark of $168 billion.
The bitcoin price touched $6,200 on Saturday to set a new all-time high, but on Sunday it fell into decline, dipping as low as $5,795. On Monday, however, the bitcoin price experienced a slight uptick, bringing it back across the $5,900 threshold. At present, the bitcoin price is trading at a global average of $5,906, which translates into a market cap of $98.3 billion.
Following last week’s rise to $6,000, many average investors are wondering if it is too late to invest in bitcoin. However, these same fears have kept investors on the sidelines at almost every stage of bitcoin’s growth, and yet the markets have continued to defy critics’ expectations. This is why even Mark Cuban — a long-time bitcoin skeptic — has begun advising “true adventurers” to allocate up to 10% of their investments in bitcoin and ethereum.
The ethereum price continued its post-Byzantium decline on Monday, dipping below $290 for the first time in two weeks. At present, the ethereum price is trading at $288; this represents a 7-day decline of 15% and translates into a $27.4 billion market cap.
At present, much of the demand for ethereum is derived from investors who wish to participate in initial coin offerings (ICOs), which have recently surpassed a year-to-date fundraising total of $3 billion. As ICO contributions have increased, so has attention from regulators, and some industry observers expect that more nations — including bitcoin-friendly Japan — will follow China’s lead and ban the practice altogether. It’s likely that these fears are placing downward pressure on the ethereum price.
Ethereum was joined in its decline by virtually every top-tier altcoin, although most of these pullbacks were minor.
The ripple price declined 3%, pushing its price below $0.200 and its market cap to just $7.6 billion. The bitcoin cash price dipped 2% and is now trading at $322. The litecoin price dropped 4%, which was enough to reduce its market cap to $2.9 billion, while dash’s 3% decline lowered its price to $269. The NEM and monero prices each dropped about 1%, while NEO posted a top 10-worst decline of 5%. Bitconnect, ranked eighth, was the lone top 10 altcoin to experience a single-day price increase; it is currently trading at $203, which represents an increase of about 1%.
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