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The big news in the cryptocurrency sector Tuesday was about a sudden Bitcoin flash crash that was only tracked by one index. Prices plunged to $600 in just a few minutes on the CoinDesk Bitcoin price index, which tracks prices on Bitstamp, Coinbase, itBit, and OKCoin exchanges.
According to CNBC, none of the four exchanges picked up on the price drop.
Bitcoin was trading back above $4,800 on Tuesday afternoon, and it remains unclear what caused the sharp decline.
Also in Bitcoin news was Russia's plan to increase regulation on local exchanges that sell cryptocurrencies.
During a financial conference in Moscow, the central bank's First Deputy Governor Sergey Shvetsov referred to Bitcoin as "dubious" and said that the Russian government will block access to exchange websites.
Below is a recap of the top cryptocurrency prices at 1:30 p.m. EDT.
- Bitcoin: $4,825.34, +3.27%
- Ethereum: $305.50, +2.52%
- Ripple: $0.2597, -4.87%
- Bitcoin Cash: $315.31, -1.81%
- Litecoin: $51.04, -0.09%
Now that we know all of today's price movements, here's what has been moving these cryptocurrencies…
Cryptocurrency Markets Today
On Monday, the total market capitalization of the global cryptocurrency sector rose to $154.3 billion.
Top performers from the largest 50 cryptocurrencies by market capitalization included Metal (up 19.37%), Hshare (up 17.84%), Ardor (up 16.84%), Ark (up 15.31%), and Walton (up 11.34%).
The worst performers from the top 50 largest cryptocurrencies by market capitalization included Bitshares (down -11.01%), Gas (down -7.84%), Waves (down -7.84%), Factom (down -5.06%), and Kyner Network (down -4.89%).
Bitcoin Prices Hover Near Five-Week High
The Bitcoin market capitalization surpassed $80.1 billion Tuesday, a figure that was more than half of the total industry market capitalization.
Prices surpassed $4,800 and brought the token into range of its all-time high.
How to Buy Bitcoins: Your Guide to Digital Profits
Prices have pushed higher in recent weeks as investors have bought into the digital currency in hopes of receiving new coins created by hard forks.
Ethereum Trades at $305
The Ethereum price is holding above $300 as investors await the first stages of the Metropolis upgrade to the blockchain.
The psychological barrier is holding despite worries about China's ban on initial coin offerings and a similar crackdown in South Korea.
Ripple Finally Retreats, Sheds 4.8%
The price of Ripple was falling despite news that it has added another nine users for its global payments network product, according to CoinDesk.
The network now has more than 100 users around the globe, including dLocal, a critical payment service for GoDaddy and Uber.
Today's downturn could be the result of some traders taking profits off the table. Ripple has been one of the top-performing cryptocurrencies in recent weeks.
Bitcoin Bears Roar Again
Recently, JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) CEO Jamie Dimon called Bitcoin a "fraud" and predicted its collapse.
Today, it was Kenneth Rogoff who said that "Bitcoin will collapse." A former economist at the International Monetary Fund, Rogoff expressed his optimism about the technology behind Bitcoin (the blockchain), but argued that it would be a "folly" to believe that cryptocurrencies could replace fiat currencies.
"It is one thing for governments to allow small anonymous transactions with virtual currencies; indeed, this would be desirable. But it is an entirely different matter for governments to allow large-scale anonymous payments, which would make it extremely difficult to collect taxes," he said.
Rogoff has been a long-time advocate of reducing currency denominations in order to fight tax evasion and black market trade.
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About the Author
Garrett Baldwin is a globally recognized research economist, financial writer, and consultant with degrees from Northwestern, Johns Hopkins, Purdue, and Indiana University. He is a seasoned financial and political risk analyst, with a focus on stocks, hedge funds, private equity, blockchain, and housing policy. He has conducted risk assessment projects for clients in 27 countries, and consulted on policy and financial operations for some of the nation's largest financial institutions, including a $1.5 trillion credit fund, a $43 billion credit and auto loan giant, as well as two of the largest Wall Street banks by assets under management.
Garrett joined Money Map Press as an economist and researcher in 2011, specializing in alternative strategies with an emphasis on fundamental and technical analysis.