Bitcoin Price Plunges for Second Time in 24 Hours, Now Below $6,500

Siamak Masnavi

Bitcoin's price plunged again on Thursday (6 September 2018) morning (Hong Kong time) as the aftershock of Goldman Sachs' decision (according to a report by Business Insider) to postpone its plans for opening a crypto trading desk hit the markets around the world, with double digit percentage price drops (in the past 24 hours) for all coins/tokens in the top 20.

The world's most valuable cruyptocurrency fell heavily for the second time in 24 hours, with the price dropping to an intraday low of $6,349 at 00:20 UTC, according to data from CryptoCompare:

BTC Chart on 6 Sep 2018.png

By 06:30 UTC, Bitcoin had recovered to $6,442, down 12.73 in the past 24-hour period; Ether (ETH), XRP, Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and EOS were down 20.65%, 14.03%, 20.12%, and 22.97% respectively. And all other top 20 cryptocurrencies (except stablecoin Tether, of course) have also experienced double digit percentage losses.

The crypto markets seem to be still reeling from the shock of discovering, via a report by Business Insider (covered here in CryptoGlobe), that insiders familiar with the matter are saying that Goldman Sachs is concerned by lack of regulatory clarity, and so has (for now at least) dropped its plan to start running a crypto trading desk.

Business Insider's report mentioned that their sources were saying that it might take many steps before a regulated bank could trade digital assets.

But is this true? Well, the SEC definitely does not consider Bitcoin to be a security, and the CFTC seems happy with Cboe's and CME Group's Bitcoin futures products. So, Goldman, which has already said in the past that it is considering offering some kind of Bitcoin derivative product, should not have a problem there.

Goldman's main two worries regarding Bitcoin must be:

  • Bitcoin's price high volatity means that its clients could potentially suffer huge (unrealized or realized) losses if they bought Bitcoin from Goldman to hold as a store of value, which would hurt Goldman's standings with those clients.
  • How to deal with the issue of custody, since most of its clients would probably not want to hold private keys, there do not seem to be any major SEC-approved crypto custodians (even the SEC is not quite sure what it means to adequately safeguard crypto holdings), and its own crypto custody solution is not ready yet.

Other issues worrying crypto investors are:

  • Goldman Sachs' decision may spook other investment banks who are currently looking at getting into the crypto space (such as JPMorgan Chase), as well as large institutional investors (such as pension funds).
  • The U.S. SEC's continuing concerns over manipulation and fraud in the Bitcoin markets outside the U.S. (where most of the trading volume is), as well as lack of good institutional custody solutions in the U.S., mean that it is highly unlikely that a Bitcoin ETF will get approved this year.
  • The SEC's continuing lack of clarity on which cryptocurrencies it considers to be securities, which means that a major cryptocurrency such as XRP might one day be declared to be a security; this is why Coinbase and Gemini do not want to list XRP even though it is third most valuable cryptocurrency by market cap.
  • Large movements of Bitcoin (over $100 million) to Bitfinex and Binance in recent days from a BTC wallet that had been dormant for the past four years, suggesting that someone was thinking of selling a huge amount of bitcoin in the near future.
  • Continued selling pressue on Bitcoin and Ether by blockchain projects that have raised funds through ICOs now selling their BTC and ETH to pay for their running costs, such as rent or salaries.
  • That probably only a small percentage of crypto startups that have created their own ERC-20 tokens on the Ethereum platform are going to be successful in some meaningful way, which makes it highly probable that the price of quite a lot of these tokens could drop even lower in future.

Despite the gloom surrounding dropping cryptocurrency prices, at least one Wallet Street analyst, RBC Capital Markets' Mitch Steves, as reported in CryptoGlobe earlier today, still believes that crypto investors should not focus so much on short term price drops and instead consider money they put into the market as a "venture capital investment." He said yesterday in an interview with CNBC that he maintained his forecast from January 2018 that the crypto space could be worth as much as $10 trillion within the next 10-15 years:

"It really doesn't change... You can't look at this from a year to year basis... even though I know it gets a lot of traction if you look at it that way... because basically it is like a venture capital investment, where you are looking at 10-15 years."

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