The cryptocurrency markets continued to sour on Thursday, as the first quarter's bearish wave continued to reverberate throughout the nascent…
The cryptocurrency markets continued to sour on Thursday, as the first quarter's bearish wave continued to reverberate throughout the nascent industry. A variety of altcoins sunk to year-to-date lows and large-cap coins like Ethereum and Ripple were not immune from the bloodbath.
Altogether, the cryptocurrency market cap shed another $17.8 billion -- a daily decline of six percent -- reducing it to a lean $281.3 billion and placing the $300 billion threshold further out of reach.
The Bitcoin price led the retreat, though it was not its headliner. The flagship cryptocurrency dropped five percent to $7,485, once again beating the index and recapturing a modicum of market share even as its total valuation ebbed further into the red. At present, Bitcoin has a total market cap of $127.9 billion, which translates into a 45.4 percent share of the index.
Ethereum and Ripple fared even worse, as each of the two largest altcoins fell to a year-to-date low during intraday trading.
The Ethereum price is currently trading at $412 on Bitfinex, up from a daily low of just $395. After today's eight percent decline, Ethereum has a $40.7 billion market cap and a 14.5 percent share of the index (down from ~20 percent in February).
The Ripple price, meanwhile, dipped to about $0.53 on European cryptocurrency exchange Bitstamp. That represents a 24-hour decline of just under six percent and leaves XRP with a $21.3 billion market cap.
The bearish trend continued almost uniformly down the charts, as fewer than 10 cryptocurrencies managed to rise against the value of the US dollar.
In fact, Tron -- currently ranked 10th by total market cap -- was the only top 25 coin or token to return a single-day gain (excluding Tether, which is a stablecoin). Tron rose just under 10 percent for the day, raising its price to $0.05 and market cap to $3.2 billion.
But though the bears are currently having their way with the charts, the bulls have not been deterred from their optimistic long-term forecasts.
As CCN reported, Wall Street strategist and Bitcoin bull Tom Lee advised clients in a recent note to HODL rather than attempting to time the market. He predicted that positive catalysts, including clarity on regulatory matters, will spur on a new market rally later in the year.
Abra CEO Bill Barhydt, meanwhile, recently predicted that institutional investors are poised to begin making a splash in cryptoassets, raising Bitcoin and altcoins alike.
"All hell will break loose," he said adding that "Once the floodgates are opened, they're opened."
Featured image from Shutterstock.