A staggering selloff in the cryptocurrency market over the past six days has investors searching for an elusive bottom on major assets like bitcoin, bitcoin cash and Ethereum. However, the breakdown of key technical levels, combined with the complete disregard for fundamentals, suggest the bottoming process has not yet concluded.
Crypto Selloff Deepens
The combined value all coins in circulation broke below $169 billion on Monday for the first time since October 2017. The selloff broke the floor wide open on last week’s bottom of $175 billion, setting the stage for a deeper correction in the short-term.
Trading volumes across major exchanges rose over the 24-hour cycle to reach a high of $17 billion, according to CoinMarketCap. In terms of adjusted volumes, Binance was the largest cryptocurrency exchange with daily turnover of $1 billion. OKEx processed $939 million worth of transactions, based on latest available data. Both exchanges saw their daily turnover jump more than 67%. Bitfinex experienced the most dramatic upsurge in volume, as turnover spiked 243% to $503.6 million.
OKEx was in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons Monday, as users lashed out against the exchange for prematurely closing open positions on bitcoin cash futures contracts. The closing of the contracts on Nov. 14 occurred without warning, leading to sizable losses across its userbase. The decision to force early settlement reflected ongoing confusion about how to handle the bitcoin cash hard fork.
Kraken has already credited bitcoin SV tokens to existing BCH holders but has warned of extreme risks of trading the new coin. In a Sunday blog post, the exchange described a number of “red flags” associated with SV, including a lack of wallets to support replay protection and “temporarily constrained” supply. It’s also likely that a large chunk of BCH SV holders will dump the currency with any notable price increase.
Bitmain founder and ardent ABC backer Jihan Wu has publicly expressed his desire to dump SV as quickly as possible.
“I am wondering when I can deposit my BSV token into exchange to sell,” the billionaire tweeted Saturday.
Battle Over Bitcoin Cash Intensifies
The battle over bitcoin cash has direct implications on bitcoin, the leading digital currency whose market cap has plunged by nearly $20 billion over the six-day selloff. Craig Steven Wright, one of the main backers of the bitcoin SV chain, has threatened to tank BTC if its miners switch over to bitcoin ABC, which is the main implementation of the BCH hard fork.
Bitcoin is also being influenced by Roger Ver’s decision to divert the entire bitcoin.com mining pool to ABC, a move that angered some users who say they never intended to mine bitcoin cash. The hash war exposes bitcoin cash to security risks as pools associated with bitcoin SV chain mine threaten to mine empty blocks or carry out 51% attacks. According to CCN, several pools and individual miners are likely to take an opportunistic approach via chain surfing, which automatically changes between chains based on block difficulty.
In the meantime, market observers have set a new price target for bitcoin at $5,000. Based on latest price action, a drop below that level is likely in the short-run as the psychological $5,000 support comes under attack.
As for bitcoin cash, prices hemorrhaged another 8% on Monday to reach a new seven-month low of $352. The fourth-largest cryptocurrency is down a whopping 33% compared with last week – losses that outpaced all major cryptocurrencies in the top-20. BCH risks a further drop to the low $300s and possibly below that threshold should the hash war continue unabated.
Ethereum emerged as one of the biggest losers of the Monday selloff, with declines exceeding 11%. Ether is currently trading hands at $155, the lowest since May 2017.
Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.
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