The cryptocurrency rally has lost a little momentum in recent days but prices still remain well above their levels of a month ago.
Bitcoin, the market leader, was trading at $7,794 per coin this morning, down on the $7,852 seen yesterday.
Still the future?
That, in turn, was weaker than the $8,107 seen on 3 June, at the start of the week.
But it was significantly above the $5,770 at which bitcoins were changing hands on 4 May.
The rally of recent weeks had raised hopes that cryptocurrencies were finally recovering from what had been a torrid 2018.
From a position in which commentators declared that the future belonged to cryptocurrencies and, more broadly, to the blockchain technology that underpins them, the clatter of falling cyber money was almost audible as troubles crowded in on the new wonder-technology and those who promoted it.
These included increased regulatory attention in several jurisdictions, prompted not least by suggestions that some of the “initial coin offerings” (ICOs) in which new cryptocurrencies were offered to investors were dubious, if not fraudulent.
The results were truly awful for cryptocurrency investors, especially those who had bought Bitcoin at the peak in December 2017. From a level of $14,748.90, Bitcoin plunged to a low of 2528.38 a year later.
“Millions may have been made”
It seemed a long time ago that we were told central banks would “have” to join the cryptocurrency revolution.
But cyber money’s fortunes improved this year, not least because a U-turn by the Fed put on hold the rising interest rates that had dulled the appeal of Bitcoin and others. The last month has seen a particularly strong performance and cryptocurrencies are seen again as an exciting, if unpredictable, asset class.
In Bitcoin’s wake, smaller currencies have also strengthened. Ripple rose from $0.3054 on 4 May to $0.4485 on 4 June, although it has slipped back today to $0.4025.
Ethereum, priced in sterling, rose from £122.85 on 5 May to £194.60 on 4 June, easing to £193.23 today.
Litecoin, also priced in sterling, stood at £57.48 on 5 May, rising to £82.64 on 4 June before settling to £81.28 today.
He added: “Bitcoin, despite being the most widely traded cryptocurrency with trading volume into the billions of dollars every day, still struggles with wild price swings due to large holders moving significant volumes of Bitcoin.”