Cryptocurrency Markets: Weekly Trading Overview (18-25 August)

A week of consolidation, as price gains slowed and the stability of leading cryptocurrencies was tested.

After a deep correction of several tokens late last Sunday, the week went on to serve up surprise activity in IOTA and Ripple, while investors witnessed the squabble between Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash.

Bitcoin (BTC) grew by a slim 1.29 net gain since last weekend, as it suffered a mid-week slump. Still, Bitcoin stands proud at $4,370.20, demonstrating amazing resilience. The weight of Bitcoin on the whole currency market fell by 3 percentage points this week, down from 49.5 to 46.5%. Market capitalization continued to creep up and stands above $72 billion. The $5,000 level is still seen as feasible.

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Bitcoin Cash (BCH, BCC) still moved upward on strong momentum, but with understandably lower volumes after it increased threefold in price within one week. BCH wiped out some of the gains to arrive at $636.52 on Friday, for a weekly gain of above 24%. But this time, BCH was not the top gainer in the top 10 of CoinMarketCap, displaced by an interest in Ripple (XRP) and IOTA (MIOTA).

Ethereum (ETH) awoke from its slumber and showed it could sit comfortably above the $300 levels. The coin is propped by interest in ICOs as well as news from the developers' team. But volumes slipped below $1 billion on Friday, and the price of $334.60 may see some profit-taking.

Litecoin (LTC) showed its usual resilience to changes, although it did stage a bull run after its fashion, climbing above $50 rapidly on Wednesday and keeping some of the gains. LTC now stands at $50.82, with more robust volumes above $240 mln per 24 hours traded. This is a breakthrough for LTC, which hovered above $45 for a while before shooting up to the next level. Talk of $100 prices by 2018 was heard during the week.

Ripple (XRP) remarkably ended the week with a 41% gain from the end of last period under review. As of Friday, XRP traded at $0.22, still a robust gain despite the 15% slide late on Thursday. It remains to be seen if some of the price gains survive or if this was merely a short-term pump for XRP.

IOTA (MIOTA) could not keep the number 5 position in terms of market capitalization, and yielded it back to LTC. As of Friday, MIOTA traded around $0.86. Trading volumes petered out to a measly $14 million, a fraction of last week's influx of funds, indicating a short-term speculative interest.

NEM(XEM) ended the week with a net gain of around 6% after a deep correction, but is still far from the 29-cents peak. Trading volumes on Friday remained around $9 million.

NEO(NEO) added 9.57% over a 7-day period, with weak growth in the past two days. The coin traded at $41.63, with volumes above $53 million, but way below the peak price near $50 where volumes were close to $500 million. NEO has strong support on the Asian markets, with around 20% of deals happening against the Chinese Yuan.

DASH (DASH) turned ship and climbed up to position 7 in the top 10 of CoinMarketCap. DASH added more than 30% to reach a price of $315.78 on Friday. Volumes were above 73 million, slimmer then last week, but now DASH has completed two consecutive periods of weekly gains.

Monero (XMR) continued to surprise, stepping in at position 10 in terms of market capitalization after doubling its price in the last 7-day period. XMR reached $98.51 from last week's $48. XMR added more than 13% late on Thursday. Volumes spiked from the usual level of $65 million to a peak above 90 million. The movements look like a pump, since most of the XMR volume comes from speculative markets like Poloniex and Bittrex.

Ethereum Classic (ETC) slid just out of the top 10, to position 11 in terms of market capitalization. ETC added 8.91% on the week, at $15.35.

The Surprise Movers: Sometimes, coins roar up in the chart, easily scaling the top 50 or even top 20.

Lisk (LSK) is a recent ICO token currently standing at $4.09. The token nearly doubled in price in the last 7-day period on volumes above $38 mln. Bittrex and Poloniex are again serving the appetites of investors looking for relatively underpriced new tokens to pump. More than 70% of trading volumes for LSK come from those exchanges.

Biggest losers: Even after a week mostly in the green, some coins could not hold onto their positions.

BitConnect (BCC) lost more than 31% late on Thursday and traded at $90.75 on Friday. BitConnect has its fan base mostly concentraded on NovaExchange and CoinExchange with nearly 80% of volume against BTC. BitConnect is a disputed project, which some investors call a scam, and others vigorously defend and promote. Back in May, the token traded around $16. BitConnect may become one of the cautionary tales of the cryptocurrency world, where too much optimism puts attention to sleep and lets scams go through and pose as legitimate investment assets. Part of the BitConect boost in price comes from the need to buy it with Bitcoin to use on the platform. And if users retreat, so will the BCC price. But the steep sell wall may show that consumers are getting savvier and someone dumped their holdings.

The weekly overview is just a timed snapshot of the market. Cryptocurrency markets move within hours or minutes, and volatility is high. Never invest in a cryptocoin or a token unless you are ready to lose your holdings in part or in whole due to volatility.