Bitcoin prices are down 15% so far today, as the price slides farther away from $20,000 and closer to $10,000.
Right now, there appear to be several reasons why we're seeing the price of Bitcoin drop…
The biggest reason appears to be concerns that the People's Bank of China (PBoC) will ban cryptocurrency trading.
According to a report today (Jan. 16, 2018) from CoinDesk.com, Pan Gongsheng, the vice governor of the central bank, said the government would apply more strict regulations to end all cryptocurrency-trading-related activities and services.
Also in China, the cryptocurrency mining pool ViaBTC plans to adjust its cloud mining maintenance fee ratio for the AntMiner S9 cloud mining contract from 6% to 50%.
The mining pool accounted for 13.8% of the global computing power as of Jan. 11, according to CoinDesk.com.
The move is a response to Chinese regulators potentially reducing tax and land benefits for cryptocurrency mining companies.
Outside of China, the French Minister of Economy, Burne Le Maire, announced in a speech yesterday the creation of a group to develop cryptocurrency regulations.
Unfortunately, the extent to how France plans to regulate crypto is vague right now.
Finally, Bitcoin speculators are also taking note of bearish sentiments on BTC futures contracts.
According to CoinDesk, contracts expiring in January traded at $11,510 and $11,530 at the Chicago Board of Exchange and Chicago Mercantile Exchange, respectively, at one point today.
Meanwhile, Bitcoin's spot prices were higher. This sort of futures discount suggests that the markets are bearish on the price of Bitcoin looking into the future.
Below is a recap of the top cryptocurrency prices at 12:00 p.m. EST.
- Bitcoin: $12,001.10, -15.96%
- Ethereum: $1,118.07, -15.84%
- Ripple: $1.37, -25.28%
- Bitcoin Cash: $2,020.69, -18.01%
- Cardano: $0.644, -23.71%
Now that we know all of today's price movements, here's what has been moving these cryptocurrencies…
Cryptocurrency Markets Today
On Tuesday, the market capitalization of the global cryptocurrency sector slumped to $581.39 billion. Bitcoin comprised 34.7% of the total crypto market. That latter figure is a slight increase from yesterday.
Today's price collapse didn't deliver too many top performers out of the top 50 cryptocurrencies by market capitalization. Only three cryptocurrencies out of the top 100 were in the green. Ethos added 5.43%, KuCoin shares gained 2.88%, and Tether (which is pegged to the U.S. dollar) added 1.67% thanks to heavy demand from investors looking to hedge their bets.
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The worst performers from the top 50 largest cryptocurrencies by market capitalization included Siacoin (down -33.06%), Bitcoin Gold (down -31.70%), Digibyte (down -29.18%), TRON (down -28.39%), Binance Coin (down -28.26%), Verge (down -27.50%), and Bytecoin (down -27.26%).
Can Bitcoin Prices Recover?
Today, Bitcoin critics used the sharp downturn as another opportunity to pile on doubt about the long-term sustainability of the cryptocurrency.
Former Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC) CEO Dick Kovacevich called Bitcoin a "pyramid scheme" and said he believes it to be just another scam.
"It makes no sense. I'm just surprised it isn't even lower," he said about Bitcoin during an interview with CNBC.
Of course, speaking of scams, Wells Fargo actually ripped off its customers under former CEO John Stumpf by signing them up for 2 million bank accounts that they didn't want or need and then charged them for the accounts.
So there's that.
Despite all the bearish news today, it appears that one billionaire is ready to take Bitcoin and Ethereum to the mainstream as a means of payment.
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban announced that customers will be able to pay for tickets with cryptocurrencies starting "next season."
Cuban confirmed that the team would accept Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Ethereum Back Near $1,100, Ripple at Nearly a Three-Week Low
Ethereum prices retreated to roughly $1,100 per coin thanks to the broader sell-off and concerns about global regulatory crackdowns.
Meanwhile, Ripple is near a three-week low as the price continues to crater from recent all-time highs.
Siacoin Craters to $0.41
It's been 10 days since Siacoin surged more than 82% in a day and hit an all-time record. Since then, it's been in a total free fall.
The price dipped all the way to $0.41 and is now down 47.17% over the last week.
Siacoin was a hyped altcoin during the final weeks of December 2017.
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