As we approach the end of 2018, the year Bitcoin turned 10 years old, it appears the cryptocurrency ecosystem’s decline may not be over yet, although the trend may reverse next year as the equity markets appear to be entering a bearish period.
Currently, according to CryptoCompare data, Bitcoin is trading at $3,870 after falling roughly 1% in the last 24-hour period. Its market cap is of about $67 billion, meaning it has roughly 51.8% of the ecosystem’s market share.
This year Bitcoin went from over $13,000 to a low of little under $3,200 before it started to recover. Despite the drop, adoption has been increasing as the number of cryptocurrency ATMs, as covered, has doubled to over 4,000, with 6 being installed per day this year.
Moreover, BTC’s layer-two scaling solution, the Lightning Network (LN), has been growing at a steady pace. This month, it surpassed a 500 BTC capacity, and saw a crypto artist sell a tiny piece of artwork for one milisatoshi, about $0.000000037, in what was likely the cheapest artwork ever sold.
Bitcoin is often seen as a tool to hedge against economic crisis as it’s seen as sound money. It was created after the 2008 financial crisis and since then the equities market has been in one of the biggest bull runs in history. It is, however, apparently near its end, and some analysts claim BTC may thrive as stocks crash.
Crypto has never existed during a bear market in traditional assets.
BTC was birthed at the very beginning of the largest monetary experiment ever- globally coordinated QE. Ending QE is causing pain
There is a significant chance Crypto is the best performing asset class in 2019 pic.twitter.com/vIdKTrm5sV
— Travis Kling (@Travis_Kling) December 23, 2018
Looking at the S&P 500 Index it’s easy to see why the equities market is believed to be entering a bear market. After seeing a over 250% increase since the 2008 financial crisis, the index started plummeting from a high of about 2,929 to 2,350. Although it has recovered to 2,456, some have pointed out this may be a dead cat bounce.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average has seen a similar rally in the last few years, and has also started plummeting in the last few months. Peter Brandt, a technical trader who predicted Bitcoin’s 84% decline this year, believes the Dow is set to face a similar correction.
Not be surprising if U.S. equity indexes have strong corrective bounce or period of chop. I’m covering some long inverse ETFs. DJIA has corrected 80% of Jan’17 to Jan’18 parabola. Perhaps bounce to 23500. But damage has been done. $DJIA pic.twitter.com/zTL1eHNL4h
— Peter Brandt (@PeterLBrandt) December 26, 2018
ETH Starts Closing In On XRP
This year Ethereum’s ether saw its price drop from an all-time high close to $1,400 to a low of little over $80, before it started recovering. At press time, ETH is trading at $139 after rising 1.9% in the last 24 hours, and its market cap is of $14.3 billion.
This decline saw it lose its position as the second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap to XRP, which fell from a high above $3 to $0.37 at press time. Its market cap is of $14.9 billion, as its price dropped nearly 1% in the last 24-hour period.
Ethereum’s market cap is close to surpassing that of XRP
The gap between both cryptocurrencies has been declining. While XRP is up 26.9% in the last two weeks, ETH has surged 59.8% in the same period. If its price keeps rising, it’ll soon claim the title of the second-largest cryptocurrency.
Most other top cryptocurrencies, including EOS, TRX, and LTC are up by less than 1%. NEO is notably up by about 4% in said period.