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Despite all the attention, Bitcoin now accounts for only about a third of the cryptocurrency’s total market capitalization, and internal governance issues, near-saturation block capacity and pressure from global regulators have led to a dive in Bitcoin’s value, which fell below $10,000 yesterday. Meanwhile, about 40 digital currencies around the world have exceeded $1 billion in market cap at the beginning of January, many of which could achieve a “big reversal” and become the next king of digital currencies as a reserve currency in the crypto space.
There is now a new cryptocurrency being created almost every day, usually through an “Initial Coin Offering” (ICO), a form of online crowdfunding. (PutinCoin), Sexcoin, and InsaneCoin, which has a market cap of $7 million. While mostly just a hustle, as of Jan. 10, there have been about 40 digital currencies with market caps over $1 billion.
follows Bitcoin on the site’s list, followed by Ether, issued by Ethereum, with a market cap of $137 billion. Ripple (Ripple) is also surging. Lesser-known tokens have also taken advantage of the momentum: Monero ($6 billion market cap), Zcash ($2 billion market cap), and Stellar ($9.8 billion market cap) have each made their mark. Bitcoin Cash has also reached a market cap of $46 billion: it’s the product of a split within Bitcoin’s internal philosophical disagreements. Will any of these one day replace Bitcoin as the reserve currency in the crypto space, in what some insiders call a “flippening”?
Has the Bitcoin Bubble Burst? Our chart compares Bitcoin to four famous financial bubbles in history. Click for larger image:
The horizontal axis is time, covering the three years before and after each bubble’s price peak; the vertical axis is the level of price volatility in the relevant transactions. The orange line is the Dutch tulip bubble in the 17th century (no data on prices after the top), and the blue and yellow lines are the Mississippi stock market bubble and the South Sea bubble that occurred around the 1820s in France and the United Kingdom, respectively, which were the three major early economic bubbles in Europe. And the contrast between the two modern bubbles is even clearer: the green line represents the Internet bubble around the turn of the millennium, and the black part represents the bitcoin trend – the former can simply be described as choppy compared to the steep curve of the latter. After last year’s wild ride, where will bitcoin fall next?
Bitcoin started 2018 with a series of declines, once falling below $10,000 on Jan. 24, with tighter regulation in Asian markets the main reason. South Korea, which accounts for about one-tenth of the world’s bitcoin trading volume, introduced a ban on cryptocurrency trading early in the year, which was still pushed through under public protest; China, which once accounted for 90% of global bitcoin trading, introduced an ICO ban late last year that called a halt to domestic trading. The virtual currency has experienced big ups and downs before, but this time the downward trend has been extremely violent – with new lows this month already down about 50% from last month’s all-time highs. Bitcoin proponents claim one of its biggest selling points is decentralization and lack of intervention, but at least in Asia, the cryptocurrency outlook remains closely tied to policy.