The negative trend in crypto markets over the past week escalated over the weekend. Several top 10 cryptocurrencies registered double-digit losses and the overwhelming majority of cryptos started the week in the red. With the ongoing coronavirus pandemic looming in the background, the crypto market fell in line with mainstream markets, falling significantly alongside them.
This Week’s Highlights
- Bitcoin Below $8
- India Lifts Crypto Ban
- Mnuchin Speaks in Favor of Crypto
Bitcoin Falls Below $8K
For the first time in nearly two months, Bitcoin fell below the $8,000 mark, as part of a market-wide bearish trend. The recent losses are in-part attributable to the coronavirus epidemic, as traders and investors are either struggling to stay ahead of markets or choosing to sit out this event altogether.
With the Bitcoin halving event coming in May, several manufacturers of mining equipment are gearing up to introduce new products. However, as the majority of big players in the space are China-based, where the COVID-19 virus originated, their business may be damaged. Regardless, as the virus continues to impact global markets and cause investors across all sectors to remain hesitant, the current bearish trend could potentially persist.
India Lifts Crypto Ban
The Indian Supreme Court has lifted the ban on banks doing business with crypto companies. The Reserve Bank of India issued an order back in April 2018, barring financial institutions from doing business with any companies involved with crypto. This decision by the Supreme Court is positive news not just for India but the industry as a whole. It now allows Fintech companies in India to move forward with innovation in blockchain and digital assets, and Indian crypto exchanges now able to provide an on-ramp to the ecosystem for their population, resulting in greater global liquidity. Six hours after the ban was lifted Mumbai based crypto exchange CoinDCX announced that users could now purchase cryptocurrencies on their exchange with Indian rupees.
Mnuchin Speaks in Favor of Crypto
Members of the US Treasury met with prominent figures from the cryptocurrency space last week to discuss regulatory challenges. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that the US welcomes responsible innovation with the potential to improve the efficiency of the financial system. However, he also highlighted the need to ensure that national security is not compromised by such innovation.
The Week Ahead
The coronavirus will still remain in focus in the near future. At the same time, the recent crash in oil prices may also indirectly impact crypto prices. The world’s most-traded commodity has an incredible influence over a variety of market sectors and could serve as a catalyst for further volatility. On Thursday, the European Central Bank is expected to announce its most recent rate decision. Analysts predict that the ECB will extend the already negative interest rate by 10 basis point, which could potentially drive more investors away from mainstream banks.
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