Major Cryptocurrencies Are Hitting 2018 Lows Today

Thursday’s market developments highlight the continued crunch in the crypto markets, which has solidified in the months since many crypto-assets soared to all-time highs.

Indeed, during the first week of January, the overall market capitalization of the cryptocurrency market exceeded $800 billion – as of today, that figure has dropped to roughly $275 billion, according to data from CoinMarketCap.

Bitcoin’s drop to an 11-day low of $7,438 is hogging the limelight, as usual, but other cryptocurrencies are struggling too. Today, ether (ETH), Ripple’s XRP and bitcoin cash (BCH) all having dropped to fresh lows for the year so far.

Ether

Ethereum’s ether token, the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, continues to take a beating, now threatening to drop below the $400 mark. ETH has depreciated by 10 percent in the last 24 hours and is down 47 percent on a year-to-date basis.

It’s worth noting that the 14-day relative strength index (RSI) shows that the cryptocurrency is at its most oversold level since December 2016. That said, the ETH/USD pair could see a sharp rally if the broader markets regain poise.

XRP

XRP fell to $0.53 soon before press time – the lowest level since Dec. 14, as per CoinMarketCap. The cryptocurrency has depreciated by 8.8 percent in the last 24 hours and on a year-to-date (YTD) basis, it is down 76 percent.

The world’s third-largest cryptocurrency hit a record high of $3.84 on Jan. 4, and since then has been steadily losing altitude in line with the broader markets. However, as seen in the chart below, the sell-off looks overdone.

XRP daily chart

  • XRP (prices as per Bitfinex) seems to have found acceptance below the 200-day moving average (MA), but the relative strength index (RSI) has dipped below 30.00, indicating oversold conditions.
  • Note, the gap between the 50-day MA and the 200-day MA is lowest since December. A further decline in prices could push the 50-day MA below the 200-day MA (“death cross” signal), but a continued major sell-off is unlikely as the RSI shows XRP is already oversold.

Bitcoin cash

Meanwhile, bitcoin cash dropped to $757 today – the lowest level since Nov. 10, and was last seen trading at $785. Merchant crypto payment processor BitPay announced yesterday that it has added support for bitcoin cash. However, the news has failed to put a floor under prices.

The fourth-largest cryptocurrency is down 12 percent on a 24-hour basis, while on a year-to-date basis, it has depreciated by 70 percent.

BCH daily chart

The above chart (prices as per Coinbase) shows bitcoin cash witnessed a death cross (bearish 50-day MA and 200-day MA crossover) on March 20 and fell to $750 today.

The RSI was bearish and well above the oversold territory on March 20, so the death cross seems to have had an effect, contrary to evidence that it tends to be a lagging indicator arising before an upturn.

A close (as per UTC) below $758 (Feb. 6 low) could yield a deeper sell-off to $719 (September 2017 high). Further losses are unlikely, as the RSI would show oversold condition by then.