Sunday, July 16, 2017

"Bitcoin, Ethereum Plunge Accelerates As Scaling Deadline Looms"

Following up on yesterday's "So, How Did the Cryptocurrencies Do This Week?".

It's quite amazing that a month ago the headlines were "Bitcoin Price Crosses $3,000 Milestone to Set New All-Time High". It's currently changing hands at $1957.

We don't usually do much with this stuff here on the blog but the last month has been an interesting exception.
I should also note we've been leaning heavily on the thinking in a couple pieces FT Alphaville's Izabella Kaminska did on cryptocurrencies in the last month or so, links below, along with some others.

From ZeroHedge:
Yesterday it was Bitcoin, today it is Ethereum that is taking the brunt of selling pressure (down 20%) but the dumping of virtual currencies is evident across the entire crypto space with the biggest market cap coins tumbling to 2-month lows...

Once again it is the so-called 'civil war' that is weighing on the entire virtual currency space as we noted previously, behind the conflict is an ideological split about bitcoin's rightful identity...

Bitcoin traded as low as $1830 early this morning to two-month lows... as one veteran of the cryptocurrency trading space told us, "shit's getting real, no one is sure what happens after August 1st, so traders are taking profits, squaring positions into the scaling deadline."
But Ethereum is getting battered today, down 20% overnight to 2-month lows...

While the main driver of this selloff is undoubtedly anxiety over the looming scaling deadline on August 1st, we note that, as CoinTelegraph reports, none other than the Albanian central bank has joined the chorus warning about the dangers to the public of virtual currencies... Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have been making headlines around the world, and with the recent sell-off this week, more is sure to be said. Central banks and governments continue to make statements regarding the dangers of digital currencies, or, conversely, extolling their benefits. The most recent bank to issue such a warning is the central bank of Albania. The bank issued a strong statement warning citizens that digital currencies were not under the direct purvey of the country’s banking sector regulations and that such vehicles carried extremely high levels of risk.
The Albanian authorities stated:
“We appeal to the Albanian public to be mature and responsible in the administration of savings or liquidity they possess. One should orient investments toward financial products and instruments offered by institutions licensed and supervised by the Bank of Albania and the Financial Supervisory Authority.”
The anonymity and decentralization provided by Bitcoin made nefarious activity not only possible, but probable, and the bank warned against the clear risks taken by those choosing to invest. Bitcoin enthusiasts would clearly point out that a centralized bank is the very essence of what Bitcoin is seeking to distance itself from, and so a less than glowing review would be expected....MORE
July 10's "What is this FT Transact and Why Did They Put Izabella Kaminska Inside This Little Box?" was a good two-minute primer on the "civil war".

And the interview at the bottom of "So, A Florida Man, An FT Journalist and an A16Z Venture Capitalist Walk Into A ...." is simply outstanding.

A couple headlines:
June 15
Bitcoin Is Down Almost Eight Hundred Bucks From the Recent Highs.

July 11
Cryptocurrency Collapse

Finally Coindesk, earlier today: