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Bitcoin is stuck – What's wrong with the cryptocurrency market? – The Motley Fool

The prices of the cryptocurrency have been relatively calm in recent months, but everything changed on Wednesday. The leading cryptocurrency bitcoin suddenly dropped below $ 6,000 at the lowest level in 2018, and most other digital resources followed suit.

That's why the volatility has suddenly returned to the cryptocurrency markets, where the major cryptocurrencies are located and if the upward thrust we saw in 2017 could come back soon.

Gold token with bitcoin symbol.

Image source: Getty Images.

The prices of today's cryptocurrency

On Wednesday, after a relatively low volatility in the last few months, bitcoins and most other cryptocurrencies suffered a sudden downturn. In fact, all the first 50 cryptocurrencies by market capitalization (with the exception of those anchored to the US dollar) are in red for the last week. Here is a look at the 10 biggest ones.

Cryptocurrency name (code) Price in US dollars Change of 1 week

Bitcoin (BTC-USD)

$ 5.664.60

(13.2%)

Ethereum (ETH-USD)

$ 183.61

(15.3%)

Ripple (XRP-USD)

$ 0.47

(6.4%)

Bitcoin cash (BCH-USD)

$ 388.62

(29.1%)

Stellar Lumens (XLM-USD)

$ 0.24

(8.8%)

EOS (EOS-USD)

$ 4.71

(16.3%)

Litecoin (LTC-USD)

$ 44.70

(17.2%)

Tether (USDT- USD)

$ 0.97

(0.9%)

Cardano (ADA-USD)

$ 0.06

(17.9%)

Monero (XMR-USD)

$ 89.40

(19%)

Data source: www.investing.com. Daily prices and changes starting from November 15, 2018, approximately at 03:10 pm EST, and prices are rounded to the nearest cent, if any.

Why is the cryptocurrency market collapsing?

According to several experts in cryptocurrency and industry professionals, the decline has to do with a so-called "hard fork" scheduled for today in bitcoin cash.

If you are not familiar, a hard fork is similar in principle to a spin-off in the world of the stock market. A cryptocurrency essentially splits into two, each function independently. Cryptocurrency insiders like to think of hard forks as upgrades. In fact, the bitcoin money itself was the result of a bitter blow of the bitcoin blockchain in 2017, with the idea that the network would be more scalable than the standard bitcoin.

The bitcoin cash fork actually occurred today (Thursday, November 15) a few hours before it was written, and the cryptocurrency was divided into Bitcoin ABC, which is the core bitcoin core token, and Bitcoin SV, which is the new asset in created. In short, Bitcoin SV quadruples the size of the block, which means that the network will be able to handle larger volumes of transactions.

Without becoming too technical, there is a disagreement in the cryptocurrency community about the direction of the bitcoin cash currency, so there are concerns that the market may be a bit chaotic after the completion of the fork. Investment markets do not like uncertainty in most forms, so this could certainly explain why most cryptocurrencies are under pressure.

It was a bad 2018 for cryptocurrencies – where are we going from here?

Although bitcoin and most other major cryptocurrencies have remained relatively stable for a few months, 2018 has been a terrible year for these digital assets so far. Just take a look at the way bitcoins and some of these other important cryptocurrencies have come from this article since December 26, 2017 – and it was not even the best.

There are several potential reasons for poor performance. Obviously, new money seems to flow into cryptocurrencies to a lesser extent than when it is increasing. There are also legitimate regulatory issues in the United States and international markets. And, despite repeated attempts to bring a bitcoin ETF to the market, the Securities and Exchange Commission has yet to approve one. Finally, the adoption of bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies as a means of payment has not really been advanced as much as many speculators would have wanted.

In short, cryptocurrency markets are in "wait and see" mode for several months. And until there is a convincing positive catalyst (such as the approval of the ETF), the bitcoin and other major cryptocurrencies may have difficulty ascending.

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