Once again I must comment on how insanely fast the crypto markets move. Intraday swings of 10-20% in either way of the entire market are common occurrences. Taking a single snapshot each week of the Total Market Cap and Bitcoin Dominance can in no way reflect everything that has been going on.. will consider adding a volatility gauge moving forward.
South Korea: Movers and Shakers
The South Koreans are once again in the headlines this week; first, on Monday, CoinMarketCap— the most popular tracker for crypto prices and market caps— removed display of Korean Won (KRW) trade pairings from its site due to the "extreme divergence in prices from the rest of the world”. Prices on Korean exchanges like Bithumb are known to be higher by as much as 30% versus elsewhere, and arbitrage is limited by strict capital controls. The result was a perceived drop in prices across the board, triggering panic selling and exacerbating the situation. Markets quickly recovered.
Then on Wednesday night, South Korean regulators announced a proposed bill to ban cryptocurrency trading on exchanges, with Reuters and CNBC picking up on the FUD (fear, uncertainty, doubt). A complete ban is not likely, but we do know that SK wants to clamp down on KYC/AML (see 12/28/17 weekly roundup), as well as tax evasion on exchanges. All in all reasonable regulations that are long term benefits to crypto.. but the markets have yet to recover.
Ethereum Reclaims #2
Last week Ripple XRP had a massive climb to the #2 spot by market cap. This week Ethereum ETH struck back, currently sitting very comfortably back at the #2 spot of $1199 and $116 billion market cap. Ripple is now a distant 3rd at $1.71 and $66 billion market cap. Some redemption for fans of the spirit of cryptocurrency.
Exchanges Scaling Troubles
Binance, Bittrex, & other popular exchanges suspended new registrations multiple times this past week due to the huge huge demand. Binance, now the consistent #1 exchange by volume, resumed new registrations for a brief hour yesterday and immediately added almost 250k new users. The average user is apparently male and aged 25-35... who’d’ve thought.
Kodak Joins the Revolution
Yet another real-world company, Kodak, falls victim to blockchain fever. Kodak never recovered from the digital revolution beat-down, but has now seemingly leapfrogged it by joining the distributed ledger revolution, with its stock $KODK up almost 300% to $10.70 in the past few days. At CES on Tuesday, Kodak announced a new platform KODAKOne and a cryptocurrency KODAKCoin to help photographers protect their creative intellectual property. And in another not-the-Onion move, Kodak will be selling a Bitcoin mining rig dubbed the “KashMiner”. Who's getting one!? Mine is already on pre-order.
See you guys next week —
Crypto Weekly Roundup is for informational purposes only and does not constitute any investment recommendations.