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Cryptocurrency Market Struggles at $500 Billion, But Fundamentals are Strong


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Major cryptocurrencies have struggled to sustain their upward momentum secured earlier this week, on February 23. Bitcoin has fallen below the $10,000 mark again, while Ethereum’s native cryptocurrency Ether has struggled to spike above $900.


Earlier this year, the dominance index of bitcoin reached an all-time low at around 32 percent. Throughout the recovery period in February, the dominance index of bitcoin, which measures its dominance over the global cryptocurrency market, rose significantly, to around 39 percent, as most cryptocurrencies in the market followed the price trend of bitcoin.

While bitcoin has performed better than Ethereum, tokens, and other major cryptocurrencies in the market in the past month given that it has increased by nearly two-fold since dipping to $6,100, it has been extremely volatile.

After the initial bear cycle and slump in January, analysts expected the price of bitcoin to start recovering to its previous levels by late February. But, bitcoin has continued to move in between the $9,500 and $11,000 range, without major buy volumes or rallies to push its price to $12,00 and potentially to early January levels in the $14,000 to $15,000 range.

Many traders have expressed their concerns over the short-term performance of bitcoin, primarily because of its low volume and the sudden spike in the daily trading volume of Tether, a US dollar-backed cryptocurrency, which traders on major cryptocurrency trading platforms like Binance use to hedge the value of major cryptocurrencies.

Adam Back, a bitcoin expert and the CEO at blockchain development company Blockstream, noted that while technical analysis may demonstrate a highly volatile future for bitcoin, technical developments and fundamentals point toward an optimistic future for bitcoin.

“Sounds like chartism/tea-leaves over fundamentals: tech investment, scaling progress, infrastructure development pace & ecosystem collaboration, institutional financial products, retail investment products, all at all-time high. I take opposing view: fundamentals are strong, long bitcoin,” said Back.

This week, the largest bitcoin wallet platform and cryptocurrency trading platform Coinbase announced the integration of Segregated Witness, a transaction malleability and scaling solution, along with transaction batching, following the implementation of SegWit by another leading cryptocurrency exchange in Bitfinex.

On February 23, the Coinbase team stated that SegWit has already been rolled out to 25 percent of customers, which exceeds more than 3 million users.

Emphasizing the potential of second-layer scaling solutions like the Lightning Network, Coinbase wrote, “new technologies which require SegWit, like the Lightning Network, have the potential to significantly increase the usefulness of Bitcoin as a payment network and benefit customers. We currently have a dedicated full-time software engineer working on open source contributions to the Lightning Network.”

Major Improvements

By fundamentals and technical developments, Back likely referred to SegWit, Lightning, and other potential privacy solutions like Bulletproofs, which are being actively developed by bitcoin developers in its open source community.

Hence, while the entire cryptocurrency market remains highly volatile both in its upside and downside, its price trend does not accurately portray the magnitude of developments and increase in user activity of major cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and Ethereum.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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The Crypto Markets May be in a Rout, But the Blockchain Job Market is in Full Swing

Although the crypto markets are caught in a persisting bear market, blockchain jobs are in a raging bull market, with blockchain developer job growth topping this year’s LinkedIn Emerging Jobs Report. The report, which was released by LinkedIn on December 13th, analyzes the fastest growing jobs in the US, and notes that the blockchain industry was the fastest growing job market in 2018. Crypto Crashed, But Blockchain Still Thriving Although the cryptocurrency markets have faltered throughout 2018 and are currently sitting at their lowest price levels since mid-2017, the blockchain development industry is thriving. The LinkedIn report notes that in the United States, blockchain developer jobs saw 33x growth in 2018, significantly more than the second fastest growing job of machine learning engineers, which grew by 12x throughout the year. The report notes that within the blockchain development sector, the most widely sought-after skills are knowledge and experience with Solidity (smart contracts), blockchain technology, Ethereum, cryptocurrency, and Node.js. Within the market, most of the demand for workers with skills and a knowledge base in the aforementioned technologies stemmed from three main companies, including IBM, ConsenSys, and Chainyard, and three main cities, including San Francisco, New York City, and Atlanta. Although the demand for blockchain developers is incredibly high, the crypto rout has undeniably stagnated this growth, as many companies in the blockchain sector have been impacted by the market crash. ConsenSys, who LinkedIn notes as being one of the biggest blockchain employers, recently underwent a company restructuring that resulted in 13% of the company’s staff being cut. The restructuring, which has been dubbed as “ConsenSys 2.0” by the company’s leaders, will result in more rigorous milestones and will lead to increased focus on the projects with the most long-term potential, while the more experimental and risky projects will be cut. Blockchain Industry Not Going Anywhere Although the blockchain industry may be starting to feel some pressure resulting from the cryptocurrency market crash, it still has a significant amount of growth ahead of it. Recently, MouseBelt, a blockchain and ICO accelerator service, funded UCLA’s first accredited blockchain engineering course, which will start in January of 2019. The course will be for undergraduate students with an interest in computer engineering and will be considered by the university as a 4-credit special topics course. In the past, students have had access to blockchain and cryptocurrency courses through the Anderson School of Management, but this is the first course that is actually being offered by UCLA to undergraduate students. Although the cryptocurrency market’s current situation looks dire, the growth in the blockchain job market and the advent of new blockchain-centric courses from top universities signals that development in DLT tech, which is inexorably tied to crypto, continues pushing ahead and that the best is still yet to come. Featured image from Shutterstock. The post The Crypto Markets May be in a Rout, But the Blockchain Job Market is in Full Swing appeared first on NewsBTC.

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