Cryptocurrency Market Selloff Triggers Major Losses

This quarter has been a tough one for HODLers in the cryptocurrency markets. The virtual currency markets have lost more than half of their value since hitting a peak in December 2017, and things are looking pretty bleak for Bitcoin investors that came late to the game.

However, consumer confidence and interest in blockchain tech and cryptocurrency-based financial services continues to grow. As a result, some analysts are predicting a positive long-term forecast for the digital coins that survive the current market downturn.

Ether and XRP Worst Performing Among Top Cryptocurrencies

In 2017, investor confidence in Ethereum and Ripple were high. Ethereum’s smart contract technology was revolutionary, and Ripple had one of the most promising electronic payment processing networks on the market.

However, the both the Ether and XRP coins have lost most of their value since the start of the year. XRP’s loss has been particularly devastating, as the coin is trading down over 90% from its high of $3.77 in January. Likewise, the price of Ether has dropped over 70% since January, and it’s trading below $200 for the first time since mid-2017.

Overall cryptocurrency market capitalization is down more than $50 billion since hitting a peak of $240 billion last week, and it’s approaching the year-to-date minimum of $189 billion that it hit last month. But that’s not to say that we’re witnessing the beginning of the end of the cryptocurrency markets. Bitcoin outperformed the overall market this year, and it’s slowly regaining market share.

Bitcoin Outperforms Overall Cryptocurrency Market in 2018

With Ethereum and Ripple trading at mere fractions of their January highs, Bitcoin has maintained most of its value throughout 2018. Although the world’s most popular cryptocurrency is down over 50% since its annual high, it’s maintaining above $6,000. Overall consumer confidence may be boosting the price of Bitcoin, as recent studies have shown that Bitcoin ownership and adoption may be on the rise. This is due to its popularity among students and young people, who are often bellwethers of technological market shifts. The majority of millennials are open to using cryptocurrency, and over one-third of young people polled reported interest in converting to primarily using a cryptocurrency over the U.S. dollar.

As more and more people become comfortable with owning and using cryptocurrency, digital coin markets will continue to develop. However, we’re still in the early days of what may someday prove to be a major period of technological change. People’s ongoing faith in Bitcoin has maintained the value of the world’s first cryptocurrency, but the market itself is approaching a new annual low in total capitalization.

Whether the HODLers will end 2018 with heavy wallets or heavy hearts is still anyone’s guess, but most remain optimistic for a strong rebound.

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