The ethereum price managed to swim against the current on Monday, posting a minor increase even as the wider markets — led by bitcoin and ripple — endured a moderate correction that appeared worse than it really was.
The cryptocurrency market cap had made steady advances during the first week of 2018 and had climbed as high as $830 billion on Sunday. However, it took an eight percent hit this morning, forcing the combined value of all cryptocurrencies down to $755 billion.
Most of that movement occurred at approximately 5:00 UTC, when market data aggregation outlet CoinMarketCap ceased to factor data from South Korean exchanges into its pricing algorithms. Since Korean exchanges tend to price coins and tokens at significant premiums — often 25 percent or more — the change made it appear that prices were plunging across the board, even though the actual movement was, in many cases, much more subdued.
The bitcoin price had spent the weekend on a bullish upswing, and on Saturday the flagship cryptocurrency rose as high as $17,252 on Bitfinex. This brought bitcoin to its highest mark since December 21, and it appeared to signal that it was prepared to begin reclaiming its dominant market share.
Today, however, the bitcoin price entered a precipitous decline, falling about nine percent to a present value of $15,475 on Bitfinex. This translates into a $261.5 billion market cap.
Bitcoin’s decline came as South Korean media outlets reported that regulators were taking an “intensive probe” into bank accounts belonging to local cryptocurrency exchanges.
While bitcoin and other top cryptocurrencies fell, the ethereum price fought against the current to post a two percent gain. That’s not to say the pullback did not deal ethereum a severe blow. Earlier in the day, the ethereum price had soared above $1,200 on Bitfinex to post a new all-time high, but it has since declined to $1,128.
Nevertheless, ethereum remains in positive territory — at least as the time of writing — and its resilience has enabled it to reclaim the second position in the market cap rankings from ripple with a total valuation of just under $112 billion.
Ripple, meanwhile, saw its price decline about eight percent on Bittrex to $2.53. Its global price, however, shows a 21 percent drop on CoinMarketCap, primarily because the website has begun excluding South Korean spot prices — which are notoriously high due to local demand and capital controls — from its calculations.
It is unclear whether this will be a permanent change or if the website detected pricing anomalies on South Korean exchanges, but under the current algorithm ripple’s market cap is listed at just $99.5 billion, which ranks third-largest among cryptocurrencies.
The absence of South Korean spot prices from CoinMarketCap’s algorithm makes the market decline appear worse than it is, but most top cryptocurrencies did experience at least a minor decrease against the US dollar.
According to data from CoinCodex — which continues to factor South Korean pricing data into its calculations — the bitcoin cash price dropped by two percent to $2,684, and fifth-ranked cardano fell by seven percent to $0.93.
NEM declined by one percent, while both litecoin and stellar dipped by four percent to bring their prices to $273 and $0.66, respectively.
The IOTA price managed to tread water, which was sufficient to raise it to ninth in the rankings, while TRON declined four percent to round out the top 10.
Write to Josiah Wilmoth at josiah.wilmoth(at)ccn.com.
Featured image from Shutterstock.