Minor Bitcoin Rivals Are Skyrocketing As The Bitcoin Price Stagnates--Here's Why
Bitcoin rivals, including apollo, augur, loopring, power ledger, status, zilliqa, and steem, have risen sharply over the last 24 hours as speculation swirls some may be listed on major cryptocurrency exchanges and wallet providers while other so-called altcoins make development strides.
Bitcoin and cryptocurrency traders are scrambling to understand the huge market moves, with many of the digital tokens sporting such low daily trading volumes that a few large trades are able to move prices significantly.
The sudden market moves by these relatively minor cryptocurrencies highlights how the sector is diverging from bitcoin, which has fallen over the past 24 hours—down by almost 1%.
"There will always be some level of correlation in broad markets. Over the longer term these particular coins are still tightly correlated to bitcoin," said Mati Greenspan, senior market analyst at broker eToro.
"That said, when you have a news story that highlights a development, it can cause these sudden leaps. What we're seeing now is the effect of a flat market—the overall sentiment noise is dying down so individual token developments are getting more attention."
Many investors will be keenly watching for whether these smaller cryptocurrencies can hold on to their recent gains, but Greenspan warned traders not to expect these kinds of percentage point rises often.
"As soon as there's more direction in the wider market, I'd expect that bitcoin and major token correlation amongst these altcoins to snap right back," Greenspan added.
Augur, a decentralized app platform looking to rival ethereum, is the largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization to leap sharply higher, adding some 33% over the last 24 hours. Augur was earlier up by 50% before paring back gains, according to bitcoin and cryptocurrency data site CoinMarketCap.
Adding to speculation augur could be listed on major cryptocurrency exchanges, the platform has also launched a new peer-to-peer prediction market called Veil which allows users to bet a wide variety of topics, including things like the Oscars.
Meanwhile, power ledger has been nominated for Newsweek’s first-ever Blockchain Impact Awards.
Bitcoin investors and traders are, however, settling in for a long crypto winter following warnings the bear market could well drag on throughout 2019.
"I think that it’s likely we kind of just go sideways for a while right," Anthony Pompliano, partner at crypto investment firm Morgan Creek Digital Assets, told CNBC Africa’s "Crypto Trader" programme last week.
"You know, if you look at bitcoin’s price, I don’t know maybe somewhere between like $2500-$4500 for a good portion of the year is probably likely based on what we’re seeing."
In some good news for the bitcoin sector, bitcoin and bitcoin cash payment processor BitPay has reported a record year, processing some $1 billion in transactions.
BitPay also set a record for transaction fee revenue, adding a number of high-profile customers including Dish Networks, HackerOne and the State of Ohio.