On Wednesday, cryptocurrency prices dropped thanks to ongoing concerns about Bitcoin's valuation and expectations for its pending hard fork. Bitcoin prices hovered near $5,500 just days after crossing the psychological $6,000 mark.
Below is a recap of the top cryptocurrency prices at 1:30 p.m. EDT
- Bitcoin: $5,531.96, -2.42%
- Ethereum: $296.60, -4.25%
- Ripple: $0.20, -5.36%
- Bitcoin Cash: $326.20, -2.48%
- Litecoin: $54.97, -6.16%
Now that we know all of today's price movements, here's what has been moving these cryptocurrencies...
Cryptocurrency Markets Today
On Wednesday, the total market capitalization of the global cryptocurrency sector hit $164.47 billion. That figure represented about a $3 billion decline since Tuesday. Bitcoin's market capitalization comprised 56.0% of the total crypto market capitalization.
Top performers from the largest 100 cryptocurrencies by market capitalization included SmartCash (up 96.21%), MCAP (up 35.22%), I/O Coin (up 29.46%), TRON (up 14.30%), Regalcoin (up 11.22%), and Metal (up 9.78%). It is unclear why SmartCash has bucked the broader trend of a market sell-off.
The last major announcement from SmartCash developers was that the privacy-centered tech firm had implemented a community governance system on Oct. 11, 2017. Of the top 10 cryptocurrencies by size, only Monero was trading in positive territory Wednesday afternoon.
The worst performers from the top 100 largest cryptocurrencies by market capitalization included ATMChain (down -20.62%), Asch (down -16.13%), Verge (down -15.02%), Neblio (down -14.59%), AdEx (down -14.04%), and SALT (down -11.93%).
Bitcoin Continues to Retreat
Is Bitcoin an asset, or is it a currency? That question was addressed in a recent blog post by NYU business school Professor Aswath Damodaran.
The so-called "Dean of Valuation" on Wall Street, Damodaran said that Bitcoin is a currency.
He argued that it will never be an asset class given that "you cannot value it or invest in it. You can only price it and trade it."
Ethereum Slides Back Below $300
The Ethereum price retreated again from the $300 level.
Ethereum co-founder Joe Lubin generated some controversy earlier this week, which could be part of the reason for the decline in prices. Lubin told an audience at a Quartz and Retro Report event that cryptocurrencies are in a bubble.
However, he dismissed any concerns about a potential crash.
Must Read: The Bitcoin Hard Fork Survival Guide
"These bubbles bring attention, they bring value into the ecosystem," he reportedly said. "That value is recognized by software developers and business developers, and they create fundamental value and projects that grow the new architecture."
Ripple Can't Find Support at $0.21
The Ripple price retreated again Wednesday thanks to a sell-off in the altcoin space.
We had witnessed a bit of a bump in capital investment to altcoins Tuesday. However, it does not appear that money is shifting from Bitcoin to altcoins, but rather from cryptocurrencies to cash.
Ripple's market capitalization fell below $8 billion just a week after hitting a high-water mark of more than $11 billion.
Top 5 Cryptocurrencies to Invest in Today
Jordan Belfort knows a scam when he sees one. The "Wolf of Wall Street" is speaking out against initial coin offerings (ICOs) in a new interview with Financial Times.
Belfort, who was once convicted on counts related to stock manipulation, said that scammers are targeting the industry and investors need to watch out.
"Promoters are perpetuating a massive scam of the highest order on everyone," he said in the interview. "Probably 85 percent of people out there don't have bad intentions, but the problem is, if five or 10 percent are trying to scam you, it's a disaster."
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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.