vision& - Cryptoweek: Test the Waters
After a pleasant start into the new year crypto hodlers witnessed the first intense moment in 2019 as the short-term overbought cryptomarket sold-off heavily on January 10. While there was no obvious fundamental reason behind the sudden drop, it showed that the low volume market remains vulnerable to short-term corrections and that there is still more time required for a ground-breaking change in sentiment. The short-term trend break put an end to the corrective rally the market had been enjoying since mid-December. Consequently, cryptocurrencies that demonstrated solid gains throughout the past weeks such as Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash or Litecoin suffered the most. Ethereum’s drop sub $120 enabled XRP to retake the second spot in terms of market cap. With a difference of only about $100 million these two could remain in a battle for number two for a while. Bitcoin market share remains stable while the number of listed cryptoassets grows nearly on a daily base.
Besides the market moves, the year really kicked-off with some interesting developments. After the completion of its first funding round just recently, Bakkt announced an expansion of its risk management, compliance and treasury operations this week by acquiring Rosenthal Collins Group, a well-respected independent futures commission merchant. But the big news this week was for sure that Swiss Bank Vontobel now offers a custody solution for digital assets to financial intermediaries such as banks and asset managers. This certainly strengthens their crypto pioneer status in the industry and may send a wave around the globe. Big crypto exchanges also don’t strike roots. Bitfinex introduced trading in RSK Infrastructure Framework (RIF) tokens which currently trade below ICO price and Binance officially launched their GBP/EUR exchange. On a regulatory note, Malaysia’s finance minister announced that the order to regulate cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings as securities has come into force. Crypto service providers and exchanges active in Malaysia are thus required to obtain authorization from the country’s Securities Commission, which will work with the central bank to ensure compliance. Several other countries take a similar stance towards a better regulated and more transparent crypto offering. Key news which however haven’t had much effect on the price yet, was that ETH suffered a set-back as Ethereum Core Developers and Ethereum Security Community said in a statement just hours before the scheduled and long awaited Constantinople upgrade that they decided to postpone the hard fork (again) after security researchers identified a potential vulnerability in one of the software upgrades.