Cryptocurrencies Losses in Worst Week Since Bubble Burst. So What’s Next?

In 2017, Bitcoin led a motley pack of cryptocurrencies in one of the great booms in market history, soaring 1,400 percent. In 2018, it’s led an epic bust that rivals the dot-com era stock market collapse. Bitcoin sank toward $4,000 and most of its peers tumbled on Friday, extending the Bloomberg Galaxy Crypto Index’s decline since Nov. 16 to 23 percent. That’s the worst weekly slump since crypto-mania peaked in early January.

After an epic rally last year that exceeded many of history’s most notorious bubbles, cryptocurrencies have become mired in a nearly $700 billion rout that shows few signs of abating. Many of the concerns that sparked the 2018 retreat — including increased regulatory scrutiny, community infighting and exchange snafus — have only intensified this week.

As the dust settles, investors and regulators find themselves still grappling with questions first raised when Bitcoin broke into public consciousness five years ago, including: What exactly is it? And where do cryptocurrencies fit into the future of money?

1. Why are so many people down on Bitcoin?

You mean, why did legendary investor Warren Buffett call it “rat poison squared”? There’s a long list of reasons. Besides the massive price swings, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have been connected with scams, money laundering, tax evasion, cyberthefts, excessive speculation and more. Risks like these may have been easier for regulators to overlook when Bitcoin and its peers sat on the far fringes of finance, but they are moving ever closer to the mainstream.

The stakes got much higher when mom-and-pop investors piled in. Lenders including JPMorgan, Bank of America and Citigroup have barred customers from using their credit cards to buy cryptocurrencies to avoid the risk associated with these transactions.

2. Why has 2018 been so rough?

With regulators beginning to crack down, and fear of big losses displacing fear of missing out, Bitcoin has fallen more than 75 percent from its peak, and the worth of hundreds of other virtual coins tumbled to close to zero. (Bitcoin’s largest rival, Ethereum, soared to $1,100 at the start of 2018 but dropped to near $130 this week.) In October, economist Nouriel Roubini, famous for foreseeing the 2008 financial crisis, told U.S. lawmakers that virtual currencies are “the mother of all scams and (now busted) bubbles.”

The problem with crypto is that what starts as a flurry can turn into a blizzard. When prices tumble, miners sell coins to cover costs, institutions become less keen to enter and regulators find their skepticism vindicated.

3. How are regulators clamping down?

Their approaches have run the gamut, from an exchange-licensing regime in Japan to a largely hands-off system in Switzerland. But the anonymous and borderless nature of many digital coins makes them tough to control. China, once the world’s most active Bitcoin market, banned crypto-asset exchanges in 2017 and blocked access to overseas trading platforms. The crackdown came during government campaigns to stop money from leaving the country and to reduce financial risk.

Most countries, notably the U.S., have not yet formulated a comprehensive regulatory strategy. But U.S. prosecutors are investigating whether traders have been manipulating the price of digital currencies. One threshold question for regulators is what, fundamentally, Bitcoin and its ilk are: currencies, commodities, securities or something entirely new.

4. So, what are they?

Born out of the bitterness that followed the 2008 financial crisis, Bitcoin and its imitators aren’t bills or coins printed or policed by a government or bank. They’re electronic assets created and monitored by a community of users acting in a decentralized way. The vision behind Bitcoin laid out in a 2008 pseudonymous manifesto promised that no more than 21 million will ever be created. That means it’s sometimes compared with scarce commodities such as gold, whose value is determined solely by what people are willing to pay for it.

But some crypto-assets have characteristics of stocks, such as shared ownership in a common endeavor and initial offerings of shares to the public. In the U.S., the Securities and Exchange Commission opened a broad probe into whether entities running so-called initial coin offerings are violating rules by offering what are really securities. China has banned ICOs entirely.

5. Who are the crypto true believers?

Here’s a short list of enthusiasts:

  • Hackers drawn by a disdain for authority and the libertarian aspirations behind Bitcoin’s creation.
  • Technology geeks who believe they’re disrupting the marketplace and getting in early on the next chapter in the history of money.
  • Novice investors and speculators drawn by the promise of soaring gains.
  • Financial firms and central banks that think something important will come out of all this even if Bitcoin withers.
  • And there are also plenty of investors who aren’t true believers but who hope to find one to sell their holdings to if crypto prices soar again.

Even after losses exceeding 70 percent for most virtual currencies, Oanda Corp.’s Stephen Innes has yet to see strong evidence of a capitulation that would signal a market bottom.

“There’s still a lot of people in this game,” Innes, head of trading for Asia Pacific at Oanda, said by phone from Singapore. If Bitcoin “collapses, if we start to see a run down toward $3,000, this thing is going to be a monster. People will be running for the exits.”

Innes said his base-case forecast is for Bitcoin to trade between $3,500 and $6,500 in the short term, with the potential to fall to $2,500 by January.


With info from Bloomberg

You can also read > Bitcoin deepens its collapse and loses 30% in a week

Noticias | News

You may also like...

4 Responses

  1. Aly Chiman dice:

    Hello there,

    My name is Aly and I would like to know if you would have any interest to have your website here at promoted as a resource on our blog ?

    We are in the midst of updating our broken link resources to include current and up to date resources for our readers. Our resource links are manually approved allowing us to mark a link as a do-follow link as well
    If you may be interested please in being included as a resource on our blog, please let me know.


  2. Tony dice:


    I have tried sending you a message but I got an auto reply saying the message was not delivered so here goes again. Do let me know if you have received it this time around.

    I would like to contribute an article to your blog on how cryptocurrencies are reshaping the online casinos. I have used a couple of online casinos myself and personally, I found the option to pay with cryptos to be much more discrete and convenient so I decided to write this article. Hopefully, your readers will find it useful.

    I have saved the article in a word document on my G-Drive which you can access from here:

    I am very sorry but I did not have the time to collect some images so please feel free to add some of your own.

    If you like my article, I can write a couple more as and when I get some time (it is chukka at work!).

    Have an awesome day!


  1. noviembre 27, 2018

    […] You can also read > Cryptocurrencies Losses in Worst Week Since Bubble Burst. So What’s Next? […]

  2. noviembre 28, 2018

    […] You can also read > Cryptocurrencies Losses in Worst Week Since Bubble Burst. So What’s Next? […]

Deja un comentario

Tu dirección de correo electrónico no será publicada. Los campos obligatorios están marcados con *

Este sitio usa Akismet para reducir el spam. Aprende cómo se procesan los datos de tus comentarios.