Bitcoin skepticism continues to be a thing and this has, unfortunately, struck the global cryptocurrency market as well. January and February were particularly poor months in terms of prices and performances, driven by the sharp decline in the cryptocurrency’s value (right now, 1 BTC trades for about $8400). Besides many blows to the regulatory market and operators, now the Bitcoin exchange websites are reporting a staggering nosedive in visits per month.
February was not a good month if you’re operating a major bitcoin and/or cryptocurrency exchange – the web traffic of the most vital websites of this kind rose during December and part of January, only to plummet significantly in February. On average, the visits have fallen by half.
Here is the breakdown for some of the most visited cryptocurrency exchange websites: Coinbase, which had 169.5 million visits in December 2017, only had 63.1 million visits in February – a 49% decline from January’s 123.5 million. Kraken has it even worse – it fell by 56%, from January’s 31.7 million to just 13.8 million in February. Similarly, Binance dropped by 54%, from 191.5 to 87.3 million.
“with possibly the only exception being Litecoin who is doing well”
These numbers are a symptom of the ongoing distrust in cryptocurrencies, particularly Bitcoin who was at the center of much turmoil since it’s stellar 2017. Recently we’ve reported on another big decline, that of Bitcoin’s plummet to a two-year low. Why are people, by the looks of it, losing interest in the cryptocurrency exchange? There are a couple of factors that could’ve led to this. Firstly, the very poor joint price performance of all cryptocurrencies during January and February (with possibly the only exception being Litecoin who is doing well). Secondly, the impossible rise in the value during the last months of 2017 prompted too huge a number of investors to start pouring money in the Bitcoin ecosystem, which set a bar that could hardly be repeated. Consequently, it may be that the aforementioned decline in Bitcoin transactions may have been caused by the smaller volume of adoption and usage. The only upside to this emptying of the market is that fees have been brought down.
Bitcoin Bull Says a Crush of Institutional Investors Is Getting Into Crypto
n addition to his new statements about EOS, billionaire and ex-hedge fund manager Mike Novogratz says a crush of Wall Street money is moving into the cryptocurrency market.
At Blockchain Week in South Korea, Novogratz said a “herd of institutional investors” is heading into cryptocurrency, reports TheStreet. Novogratz has invested 10% of his portfolio into a number of cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Ethereum and EOS.
At the close of Blockchain Week, TheStreet asked Novogratz to expand on the ways big money is getting into crypto.
I think institutional investors are slowly coming to the realization that blockchain will be Internet or Web 3.0, and they’ll want to participate just like they want to participate in the Web.
Their first way of participating is going to be through venture-capital funds. Many of them are already participating because they’ve invested in Sequoia or Polychain or Benchmark or many of the other VC funds that invest in this area. The second step for them will be buying the coins and/or the ICOs themselves, but many of them are participating in the ICOs already through their venture investments.Some of the venture capitalists who were original investors in the cryptocurrency market – like Marc Andreessen and Fred Wilson – were very early, but most did not participate so much. Funds like MetaStable, Pantera and Polychain got set up to invest in these projects. It’s like ourselves with Galaxy.
Now, all of the venture capitalists are also investing – including SoftBank, SBI in Tokyo and many funds in Hong Kong. And so there’s a lot more competition for good projects.”
Late last year, Novogratz told Bloomberg that he believes Bitcoin will reach $10,000 by the end of 2018.
Bitcoin (BTC) ETF Hype Could Be A Whale Ploy To Lower Altcoin Prices Before The Next Rally
Bitcoin (BTC) is up today against most altcoins, trading at a price of $7,700 as shown by the daily BTC/USD chart above. It seems to have met resistance short term and the price might pull back short term, but a strong FOMO for Bitcoin (BTC) is clearly visible as investors refuse to sell even under overbought conditions. At the centre of this FOMO is Bitcoin(BTC)’s long anticipated ETF (Exchange Traded Fund). This would no doubt be a big development for Bitcoin (BTC) as traditional investors would be able to invest in Bitcoin (BTC) using most of their existing brokers. However, for the rest of the market it will once again be bad news as altcoins bleed while Bitcoin (BTC) surges higher and higher.
Looking at the charts and present market conditions for most altcoins, it is clear that most altcoins have already bottomed out and are now just lingering around, waiting for the rest of the market to take off. This means that barring the approval of an ETF, an altcoin rally should be around the corner. Crypto investors who have been around for long know that at the beginning of each trading cycle, there is an altcoin rally, which is then followed by a Bitcoin (BTC) rally as most investors take profit. Given the fact that most altcoins are traded against Bitcoin (BTC) and that Tether (USDT) is seen as a risky investment, most investors take profit by converting their altcoins to Bitcoin (BTC). The result is a Bitcoin (BTC) price surge as money flows from altcoins to Bitcoin (BTC).
Bitcoin (BTC) has currently topped out according to the BTC/USD 4H chart above. Typically, what we have seen happen time and time again is that news and announcements favor the charts. In other words, if a market has reached bottom, favorable news will come out to propel the prices higher. If the market has topped out, negative news or FUD will come out to push the prices lower. In the present scenario, if we ignore the possibility of an ETF anytime soon, we are at the verge of an altcoin rally. While the ETF may or may not be announced anytime soon, it is clear that market conditions already favor an altcoin rally regardless of any news or announcements. This would make altcoins the best bet for investors looking to get a higher return on their investment.
The past few days, we have seen a decreasing number of investors who want to trade their altcoins for Bitcoin (BTC). It is plausible to assume that the recent Bitcoin (BTC) ETF FOMO was just a ruse to force investors to dump their altcoins so the whales can pick them up at cheaper prices. Now, of course when people dump their altcoins on exchanges, the whales are not going to prop the price up by buying on the same exchanges. They buy OTC (over the counter) and then let the mainstream investors push the price higher when the Bitcoin (BTC) ETF FOMO fizzles out. It is good to be optimistic but overall market conditions at this time do not favor an ETF announcement. It is likely though that a Bitcoin (BTC) ETF may be announced around the peak of the next altcoin rally.
Ripple – Is this a good time to invest in XRP (XRP)?
XRP (XRP) is no doubt one of the most popular cryptos. It is gaining in adoption, its ratings are on the rise, and more exchanges are listing it. But its value is pretty much stagnant at this point. Unlike a few weeks ago when this could be attributed to Bitcoin (BTC)’s declining price, Bitcoin is currently rising in value, and is currently trading above $7700. So is this a good time to put money in Ripple XRP, or is it best to wait it out.
Looking at the market at this point, one quickly realizes that bitcoin (BTC) dominance in the market has shot up to 46%. On top of that, it is outpacing the altcoins market in performance. Unlike in the past when altcoins have moved in tandem with bitcoin, many of them are unresponsive at the moment. Things are even thicker for Ripple XRP, the most popular altcoin in the market. That’s because while bitcoin has shot up from $5800 to $7700, XRP (XRP) is still trading at between $0.45 and $0.50.
This can be attributed to the fact both bitcoin and XRP (XRP) have news coming up, but bitcoin (BTC) news are more positive, and are likely to come out earlier than those related to XRP (XRP). At the moment, the market is looking forward to the approval of the Bitcoin ETF, which is expected to happen sometime in August or September. That’s why there is lots of money flow out of the altcoins market and into bitcoin (BTC). On the other hand, XRP (XRP) is awaiting news as to whether it is a security or not. This is a negative cloud hanging over XRP (XRP) and is holding it down, rendering any other news irrelevant to the price. Until the cases against ripple come to a conclusion, chances are that XRP (XRP) will stay depressed, even as bitcoin (BTC) and a host of other altcoins gain momentum.
If by any chance, XRP (XRP) is declared a security, which is the biggest fear of most investors, then the value of XRP (XRP) could tank in the short-term. It could also lead to further increase in the dominance of Bitcoin (BTC), since the confusion that would ensue would lead to more uncertainty in the altcoins market.
Therefore, for a smart investor looking to buy into XRP (XRP) for the long-term, it would be more pragmatic to pivot towards Bitcoin (BTC) at the moment. That’s because as long as the expectation of the ETF is in the air, its value will continue to rise. It will rise even faster if this news is confirmed. In essence, an XRP (XRP) investor would benefit more by investing in Bitcoin (BTC), building up the capital then pivoting back to XRP (XRP) at the right time. The right time in this case, means when there is some level of clarity on the status of XRP (XRP). Pragmatism is what leads to success in the markets, much more than the emotionally investing in a specific crypto.