According to all-time high (ATH) metrics provided by Messari, 15 out of the top 25 cryptocurrencies by market cap are down more than 85 percent from their ATHs at the time of writing. Further, three are down by more than 80 percent, and no cryptocurrency in the top 25 is down by less than 75 percent, which is what Binance Coin and Maker are down by.
The markets have slid significantly after Bitcoin broke its support yesterday after being unusually less volatile for several weeks. The trend continues the broader trend of an extended bear market in the 2018 cryptocurrency sphere, appropriately demonstrated by just how far top cryptocurrencies have come from their ATHs in January at the start of the year.
Massive Market Correction and Continued Downtrend
At the time of Bitcoin and the cryptocurrency market’s meteoric rise at the end of 2017, it was widely acknowledged a correction was coming at some point. That correction has happened methodically over the last 10 months as the average decline from ATH in the top 25 cryptocurrencies by market cap is 89.52 percent at the time of writing.
Bitcoin, Maker, and Binance Coin have all fared better than the rest of the top cryptocurrencies, relatively. They are the only cryptocurrencies down less than 80 percent in the top 50 cryptocurrencies.
The farther down the market caps you go, the worse it gets. Only Decentraland, Theta Token, and ZCash have declined from their ATH by less than 90 percent, and they are still in the mid-high 80 percentages.
Speculation and Negative Press
Whenever there is volatility — particularly of the downward variety — in cryptocurrencies, people are quick to point out the underlying cause. While there may be a clear underlying cause besides the natural volatility of the market in certain instances, it is usually just the volatility of the market. How far Bitcoin and other cryptos will slide is uncertain, but the recent downturn was followed by some notable developments.
Bakkt — the Bitcoin futures exchange from the NYSE owner — delayed its official launch to the end of January 2019. The platform was originally anticipated to launch next month.
Bloomberg also reported that the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) is investigating whether last year’s meteoric cryptocurrency market rally was fueled by manipulation between Tether and Bitfinex. The move follows an investigation into cryptocurrency market manipulation filed in May earlier this year by the DoJ.
On a more positive note, IBM has teamed up with Columbia University to launch a pair of accelerator programs focusing on blockchain technology.
Whether or not these developments have anything to do with the recent downturn is difficult to determine. A silver lining for traders, at least the volatility has returned that has been missing in the markets for the last several weeks.