Cryptocurrency Markets: Weekly Trading Overview (22-29 Sept)

The markets moved cautiously toward recovery, but uncertainty ahead of the weekend dragged down prices. Bitcoin struggled around the $4,000 level.

The past week saw Bitcoin attacking the $4,000 level with cautious gains. The markets were staging a recovery while reports of stricter regulations triggered selling. ICOs came under scrutiny from many sides and created uncertainty.

Bitcoin (BTC) fell into what some market watchers call a "bull trap". While rising quickly from lows around $2,900, Bitcoin seems stuck around the $4,000 level. The movements in the coming days may affect the general sentiment. On Friday, Bitcoin stood at $4,097.84, down around 4% in the last 24 hours.

The news on a ban for Korean-based ICO campaigns hardly affected the leading currency as the development was partially expected. Bitcoin increased its influence to 48.4% of the cryptocurrency market- showing strength where altcoins and tokens were cut deeper. The market capitalization remains around $67 billion. The market value of all listed coins and tokens is currently $140 billion, stil away from the peak above $160 billion. Opinions on Bitcoin varied from cautiously positive to blatant criticism.

Ethereum (ETH) keeps going through peaks and troughs, with a brief recovery in the past week. ETH touched levels above $300, but quickly retreated to the $280 levels. There was some speculation that the upcoming hard fork, or software update, may cause the prices to spike toward $400 again. But ETH price is also linked to ICO demand, and with the current pressure from regulators, token sales may be losing some of their shine. ETH traded at $288.40, down more than 5% in the last 24 hours.

Ripple (XRP) surged above the $0.20 levels mid week on spiking volumes, but slid back to $0.19 on Friday, still adding 11.54% in the past 7 days.

Bitcoin Cash (BCH, BCC) had a dramatic week where it switched places with Ripple based on market capitalization, but only briefly. BCH is now locked below $500, affected by the general negative sentiment. During the week, mining difficulty adjusted upward and mining the BCH blockchain became less profitable than supporting the Bitcoin network. BCH headed for the weekend with a price of $434.85, down 4.36%. Talks of further forks in the Bitcoin blockchain to compete with BCH are creating additional uncertainty.

Litecoin (LTC) saw positive news on its software potential, but the market price obeyed general sentiment. Ahead of a long bank holiday in Korea and with decreased volumes in China, LTC slid back up to 8% late on Thursday. LTC traded at $52.36 on thin volumes around $22 million.

DASH (DASH) ran out of steam and with no new publicity or developments, slid back to the $300 levels. DASH lost 5.29 % on the week, deepening the losses toward Friday, and stood at $325.32.  

NEM(XEM) set the pace this week, displacing two of the top 10 contenders on CoinMarketCap. XEM grew by 6.83% in the past week, getting to $0.228. Trading volumes remained thin around $5 million. The upward run is in fact an attempt at recovery, as XEM recently slid from peaks around $0.30 and is now clawing back its positions.

IOTA (MIOTA) had a small run upward from the recent lows, supported by positive news of exchange adoption and wallet updates. The asset added more than 15% on the week, reaching $0.57. It grew by 5.20% on Friday, defying the gravity of the markets.

Monero (XMR) had a turbulent week, and it seems it has burnt out the peaking potential, at least for a while. XMR hovered below $100, sliding more than 7% on Friday, down to $93.00. The anonymous coin is still up 6% on the week, but in the latest period, other tokens and coins stole all the attention.  

NEO(NEO) spent the week with a positive sentiment, starting with the effect of a blockchain conference in Seoul last week. NEO shook off the negative news from China and grew by 59% over the past 7 days, bouncing back from the lows. NEO reached $28.14, though losing up to 10% in the past 24 hours, but staging a recovery. A successful week brought NEO back into the top 10 on CoinMarketCap. Trading on the Korean exchange CoinNest began on Thursday, giving a further boost to price and volumes.

Ethereum Classic (ETC) added more than 22% for the period, bouncing from as low as $9. On Friday, ETC reached $12.51, still down 6% in the last day.

The Surprise Movers:

Z-Cash (ZEC) rose sharply and reached $400 briefly before plunging below $300. The reason for the sharp move were the rumors and news of a listing on the Korean exchange BitHumb. The effect was similar to that of Monero, which doubled in price overnight on the news of a Korean listing. But the effect was short-lasting, as ZEC turned into one of the biggest losers, sliding back 18.37% to $289.

Last week showed once again that cryptocurrency markets are not moving as mature asset classes do, and there is still potential for sharp price changes. This overview is just a temporary snapshot of the trading world, and sharp price movements remain probable.