The cryptocurrency markets extended their decline for another consecutive day on Wednesday, as just five of the 100 largest coins and tokens managed to post an advance against the dollar. The Bitcoin price, meanwhile, recovered past $10,000 after yesterday’s report that US regulators had subpoenaed Bitfinex and Tether briefly caused it to dip into four-figure territory.
Altogether, the cryptocurrency market cap shed $37 billion and is now valued at $514 billion following the day’s seven percent decline.
Bitcoin Price Recovers Past $10,000
As CCN reported, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) issued subpoenas to Bitfinex, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, and Tether, a startup that created the dollar-pegged USDT token. The subpoenas were issued in December, but early reports stated that they had been sent last week.
These early reports caused widespread panic — largely because Tether has yet to publish an audit demonstrating all of its tokens are backed by actual dollars — and in their wake, the Bitcoin price careened down as far as $9,760.
News that the probe had actually begun in December restored a bit of stability to the markets because — the argument goes — the CFTC would have likely have taken swift action against the firms if their operations were as shady as their loudest critics have alleged. However, others, including lawyer Stephen D. Palley, said that it was not necessarily a positive sign.
It’s newsworthy that a major exchange was subpoenaed 2 months ago and didn’t say anything. Among other things it means that enforcement action (if any) is closer.
— Distributed Palley 🐡 (@stephendpalley) January 30, 2018
In any case, the Bitcoin price recovered above $10,000 following the revised report and is currently trading at $10,341 on Bitfinex, which works out to a 24-hour decline of six percent. Bitcoin now has a $174.3 billion market cap.
Ethereum Price Resists Sub-$1,000 Pull
Ethereum slightly out-performed Bitcoin for the day, and it is notable that the Ethereum price held above the $1,000 mark even at the height of Tuesday’s Tether-linked volatility. Nevertheless, the second-largest cryptocurrency still declined five percent to $1,114, which translates into a $108.5 billion market cap.
Altcoins Bear the Brunt of the Damage
Although bitcoin and ethereum both experienced moderate daily declines, other top-tier cryptocurrencies bore the brunt of the damage.
Ripple’s XRP token endured a seven percent decline, while the Bitcoin Cash price dropped by eight percent. Both of these single-day movements were attractive, however, compared to that of Cardano, which plunged by 13 percent to $0.49.
EOS and NEO each took a nine percent hit, while Stellar fell by five percent to outperform its peers. Litecoin fell back to ninth in the market cap rankings following its six percent decline, while NEM’s 12 percent pullback to $0.79 rounded out the top 10.
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Bitcoin Price Holds Above ,000 But Markets Remain Firmly in the Red