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Week in review: Crypto Rally at a Crossroads

The cryptocurrencies have reported recovery this week after a prolonged period of chaos dragged by markets to consecutive annual lows. Interestingly, the recovery began on December 17, the one-year anniversary of the famous bitcoin climb to $ 20,000. While it is still too early to declare the end of the "winter crypto", action on the prices of the last four days suggests that the worst of the downward trend may have passed.

The same can not be said for stocks, which are currently mired in one of their worst downtrends since the financial crisis. For the first time since 2009, the Nasdaq Composite Index is approaching the bear market territory, a venture that would have seemed highly unlikely just three months ago.

Flush of Green

Crypto's markets posted an inflow of $ 30 billion this week, as bitcoins and major increases recorded high double-digit growth rates. The following photograph, courtesy of CoinMarketCap, highlights the rally of the last seven days:

Among the top 20 coins, excluding stablecoin, weekly earnings were between 19% and 143%. Bitcoin money (BCH) has skyrocketed above $ 200 to regain fourth place in the market capitalization ranking. BCH recorded a record number of consecutive lows after the November 15th fork.

Bitcoin has risen by almost 25% and has recovered over $ 4000 for the first time in weeks. Trading volumes on virtual currencies fell by $ 8 billion in the second half of the week.

Bitcoin SV kept his foot on the Friday pedal, increasing double digits and extending the weekly climb to 51%. BSV, which is currently valued at $ 115, has risen to no. 7 on the list of market limits.

The combined market value of all cryptos reached $ 134 billion on Friday, after gaining $ 33 billion since last Saturday.

Facebook Develop a Stablecoin

Several sources, including CCN and Bloomberg, have confirmed that Facebook Inc. is working on a new cryptocurrency for its WhatsApp messaging platform. Citing sources familiar with the issue, Bloomberg reports that Facebook is developing a stablecoin that would allow users to transfer money directly through the messaging app. Although a release date remains far away, Facebook's entry into the encrypted economy seems to be on the rise.

Is Facebook interested in Coinbase? Read: Crypto Ad Ban of Facebook Reversal Reignites Speculation on the acquisition of Coinbase.

Facebook now has about 40 employees working on various blockchain applications; the potential incursion into the stablecoin confirms the previous speculation on the involvement of the company in space.

WhatsApp has an absolutely massive consumer base with over 200 million active users only in India. According to the World Bank, India received $ 69 billion remittances in 2017.

Western Union opens the door to Crypto

After revising Ripple's cutting edge technology in the last year, Western Union announced it was ready and willing to support cryptocurrencies.

In a short video released via Twitter this week, the global payments giant said it was "ready to adopt any type of currency", including cryptography. This message was sent by Odilon Almeida, CEO of Western Union.

"If one day we think it's the right strategy to introduce cryptocurrencies on our platform, from a technology point of view it's just another currency," he said. "I think that cryptocurrency can become a further currency option, or asset, all over the world, to be exchanged between people and companies, and if that happens, we will be ready for launch."

To find out more: Western Union states that it is ready for cryptocurrencies.

Stock capitulate

Are we approaching the end of the longest bull market in history? The recent capitulation on Wall Street seems to indicate a lot.

US equities suffered strong selling pressures for the fourth quarter balance. On Thursday, the Nasdaq Composite Index arrived for the first time since 2009 at half the percent of a bear market (a bear market is generally defined as a fall of 20% or more from a recent high).

Commercial pressures, slowing economic growth and jitter in rate hikes have left the stock markets battered in recent months. The last selloff intensified towards the end of Wednesday, after the Federal Reserve raised interest rates for the fourth time this year, but failed to quell investors' anxiety over the impact of future market adjustments. Members of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) have expressed their forecasts for a further two rate hikes next year, down from a previous estimate of three, but higher than that expected by analysts.

To learn more: Plummet Stock Sms after Fed increases interest rates; Crypto Rally Intensifies.

The week ahead

Cryptoassets have a long way to go before declaring the end of the bear market. The latest signs of recovery in prices are encouraging, but a series of technical hurdles for bitcoin and some of the main altcoins suggest that the path of least resistance is lower (or, at least, lateral). That said, a positive news cycle focused on increasing business and institutional adoption could do a lot to convince the bulls of a brighter future.

In traditional markets, trade volumes will decrease substantially between Christmas and the new year. The so-called Santa Rally does not show signs of materialization this year, adding increasing doubts about the health of the bull market. These doubts will probably be confirmed in the near future.

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. It holds investment positions in the currencies, but does not carry out trading activities in the short term or daily.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

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