Ethereum, like bitcoin and so many others, has taken a beating over the past 24 hours, partly because ‘the Merge’ could be delayed.
Okay, so it’s Monday … Bloody Monday (US time), and as far as the crypto market is concerned, where do we start? Probably the top – Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH).
ETH may not be the worst-hit crypto today (scroll down further for those fun facts), but it’s up there.
It’s taken a pretty severe beating over the past 24 hours partly due to a development delay which has the potential to hold up “the Merge”, and partly due to wider factors, including Celsius-related drama.
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Considering it’s regarded (within crypto circles at least) as one of the two safest assets in this risky investment class, much of the market might well be in some state of shock at just how far and fast things have tanked over the past 24 hours.
Well, maybe not trader “Roman”, who’s been pretty accurately predicting the crypto-market descent in stages for months now …
What’s causing this bloodbath?
It’s a sum of all fears kinda deal – a casserole of crypto consternation. Point being, it’s more than one thing …
Concerns that prominent crypto-lending firm Celsius might be facing a solvency-threatening crisis, making it the next domino in line to fall after Terra/LUNA, is certainly the fear du jour.
You can read more about that here.
But epiloguing the story – one of Celsius’ rival lending services, Nexo, has offered to buy the former’s collateralised loan portfolio in order to make sure affected users can keep their funds intact.
Of course, there’s also the global economic turmoil that has potential to spark a major recession – not necessarily a great environment for risk-on asset classes such as crypto. That’s definitely in the backs, sides and fronts of many investors’ minds right now, too.
How will the US Federal Reserve respond to the worst CPI inflation data (8.6%) handed to the US in 40 years? It holds its FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) meeting later this week, so we’ll soon find out. Staying on course with another 50bp interest-rate hike is expected. If the Fed lifts that to 75bp, though, sheesh … time to duck for cover. Again.
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Tied to the above point is the ongoing bed-crapping performance of tech-focused US stocks (S&P 500 -3.88%; Nasdaq 100 -4.60%) and the crypto market’s deep correlation to them. Not forgetting, of course, the inverse correlation of stonks and crypto to the currently robust US Dollar Index (+1.01%).
As for Ethereum more specifically, it’s hardly helped matters much that the blockchain’s core developers have just announced a delay to a key part of its protocol upgrade, known as the “Difficulty Bomb”. (We’ll let Investopedia handle the explanation on that one … and Decrypt, below).
The upshot there, though, is it could mean a delay to the protocol’s much-anticipated Merge upgrade – the transition from proof-of-work consensus mechanism to proof of stake. Although one of the chain’s core developers, Ben Edgington, tweeted the following:
“So, we will push back the Ethereum difficulty bomb … We say it won’t delay the Merge. I sincerely hope not.”
Top 10 overview
With the overall crypto market cap at roughly US$1.01 trillion, down a blood-curdling 14.5% since this time yesterday, here’s the current state of play among top 10 tokens – according to CoinGecko.
Ethereum (ETH), the No.2 crypto (although we’re not prepared to call it a sh*tcoin) is the biggest loser in the crypto majors today. And that makes a change as the mantle usually goes to one of its top layer 1 protocol rivals, such as Solana (SOL), Cardano (ADA), Polkadot (DOT) or Avalanche (AVAX).
That said, we’re not spotting a single top crypto that hasn’t been gut punched and uppercut with double-digit losses today.
As for Bitcoin (BTC), yeah, it’s in a world of price pain, too …
Uppers and downers: 11–100
Sweeping a market-cap range of about US$7.3 billion to about US$361 million in the rest of the top 100, let’s find some of the biggest 24-hour gainers and losers at press time.
It’s sad to say but the best-performing cryptos in the top 100 at the time of writing are stablecoins. So then, they’re hardly pumpers, but here’s a handful of altcoins coping with the widespread market punishment a bit better than most others at the moment …
• Decentraland (MANA), (market cap: US$1.25 billion) -1%
• Flex Coin (FLEX), (mc: US$479 million) -2%
• PAX Gold (PAXG), (mc: US$611 million) -3%
• Gala (GALA), (mc: US$454 million) -4%
• Chain (XCN), (mc: US$2.96 billion) -5%
• Aave (AAVE), (market cap: US$825 million) -22%
• THORChain (RUNE), (mc: US$568 million) -22%
• Lido Staked Ether (STETH), (mc: US$4.85 billion) -21%
• Klaytn (KLAY), (mc: US$711 million) -20%
• ApeCoin (APE), (mc: US$1 billion) -20%
Around the blocks
To finish, a selection of randomness that stuck with us on our journey through the Crypto Twitterverse today …
Mooners and Shakers is sponsored by Dacxi, the world’s first purpose-built Crypto Wealth platform.
This content first appeared on stockhead.com.au.
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Originally published as Crypto bloodbath as ethereum and bitcoin plunge