Crypto Market Cap Falls Below $200 for the First Time Since November Amid ICO Backlash


Cryptocurrencies extended their selloff overnight Tuesday, as the total market capitalization pierced below $200 billion for the first time since November. The decline was far-reaching and severe, with 78 of the top 80 altcoins recording double-digit percentage losses.

Crypto Market Update

Roughly $26 billion was wiped from the cryptocurrency market overnight, a sign that the bears were firmly in control and not giving up their position anytime soon. The market bottomed at $189.6 billion late Monday and has since recovered to around $193 billion. Twenty-four hours ago, coins were collectively worth more than $217 billion.

Below are two snapshots of the crypto top-50, as reported by CoinMarketCap.

Although the declines were largely concentrated in altcoins, bitcoin also experienced a tumultuous overnight session, with prices coming within $100 of a new yearly low. The bitcoin price bottomed at $5,858.60 on Bitfinex but has since recovered above $6,100.

Ethereum’s downward spiral intensified Tuesday, with prices crashing to fresh 14-month lows. At press time, ether was down 16.6% at $267. The second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap has shed more than 35% over the past seven days.

The Market’s Next Move

The rout in altcoins has left bitcoin with a 54.1% share of the total cryptocurrency market – the highest since December. Although this gives bitcoin a stronger gravitational pull on other digital assets, it’s also an indicator that investors are shifting their portfolios away from more speculative altcoins and tokens.

As Bloomberg pointed out on Monday, Ethereum’s massive decline could be a sign that ICOs are cashing out. If this is true, ether could face a deeper short-term correction as token offerings fizzle out.

Biswa Das, the head of quantitative hedge fund BloomWater Capital, said the following of ICOs:

“These startups are raising a lot of funds but they don’t have treasury management or enough cash management experience, so they’re selling too early and causing a lot of pressure in the market. It was fine last year but right now the market is so fragile that it causes a lot of pressure.”

The cryptocurrency market has lost a staggering $140 billion since June 1, and a look at bitcoin’s technical chart suggests more pain could be on the way. The bitcoin price faces a critical support test at $5,800; a break below that level could expose the digital currency, and the broader market, to new yearly lows as early as this week.

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