Ether Goes Downhill

ethereum logo 1The start of 2018 has not been too good a time for Ether, to say the least. In the first three month of the new year, it went down as much as 47,5%, which is the steepest quarterly decline that has yet been recorded.

Granted, cryptocurrency rates in general have been going down the slope. However, Ether stand out among the other afflicted cryptos, and not in a good way, crashing down after it has gained a fantastic 9382% during 2017.

Ether’s previous “worst performance ever” record occurred at the end of the year 2016, when the cryptocurrency dropped by 39,6%, to $7.97 instead of $13.2. These numbers, however, do not look half as bad compared to the situation currently at hand.

Let’s look at the historical data to try to understand what exactly went wrong.

On the Rise in January
The beginning of 2018 was strong for Ether: on January 13, the rate was $1,432. This, however, got pushed under $1,000 towards the end of the month. January was closed with the more or less optimistic number of $1,118.

2017, 2018, crashing down ethereum, alternative cryptocurrencyAt that time, Ether was still considered a safe asset by the investors. Since most of the ICOs are built on top of Ethereum platform, the fees that the creators need to pay are in Ether, which keep the demand to the cryptocurrency stable. Steemit named Ethereum “the most reliable and widely used network in all of cryptocurrency”, and went on to explain: “It is used as the basis for hundreds of tokens and is the foundation for much of the cryptocurrency market. It isn’t going anywhere. It has steadily climbed in value, and when it has dropped in value, it has not been as dramatic of a drop as competing currencies such as Bitcoin”.

In the following months, however, this advantage proved to be not so great after all.

ICO Fraud Concerns in February
On the 6th of February, the prices dropped to approximately $650. That also was the day on which a U. S. Senate hearing took place. During this hearing, the Securities and Exchange Commission discussed the problems of ICO status and fraud. Jay Clayton, Securities and Exchange Commission chairman, very emphatically said that he wants “to go back to separating ICOs and cryptocurrencies. ICOs that are securities offerings, we should regulate them like we regulate securities offerings. End of story.”

This was when Ether started wavering: it dropped to $574, then began recovering, but stopped after reaching around $1,000, and, finally, finished the month at the $850 mark.

Investigations and Bans in March
On the 18th of March, after he Securities and Exchange Commission verified that multiple investigations of ICOs were under way, the price immediately fell under $500. co-director of the SEC’s Enforcement Division Stephanie Avakian confirmed that the agency was “seeing a lot in the crypto space.”

It also didn’t improve the situation that such titans as Facebook, Google, and Twitter, decided to altogether ban the cryptocurrency ads.

Thus, in March, Ether, afflicted by many sorrows, tanked 53% overall. However, it remains up more than 700% compared to the previous year, so, while caution is advised, it is probably far too early to give up on it.

 

Who’ll dethrone Bitcoin? The 3 best alternative coins

2017 has been the year of cryptocurrencies, with more people realizing their value and investing in them. Major corporates that initially had tried to stifle the growth of cryptocurrencies have jumped on the bandwagon and started utilizing the blockchain technology that is the basis of cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency and continues to dominate this field. It has gained worldwide attention this year, with its price rising from below $1,000 to over $20,000.

While most of the attention has been on Bitcoin, several other digital currencies known as alternative coins or altcoins have risen to challenge Bitcoin’s dominance and have quite a few cases even experienced higher growth in value compared to Bitcoin. The number of altcoins has however seen a tremendous rise with more than 1,300 altcoins currently being offered. While some have shown great promise and offered great value and features to their users, most of these altcoins have just perpetuated the features of other currencies and hence have found it difficult to rise in value.

The three most promising altcoins are:

1. Ethereum
Ethereum is a revolutionary cryptocurrency whose technology has been adopted by very many global organizations with great results. It was developed by the then 21-year-old programmer, Vitalik Buterin in 2015 and in two years, it has become Bitcoin’s biggest competitor. It currently has the second-highest market capitalization after Bitcoin with a market value of $90 billion. While most cryptocurrencies have focused on value transfer exclusively, Ethereum has set itself apart with its revolutionary smart contracts technology. These are self-executing contracts that contain agreements between two parties written in code and recorded on a decentralized ledger known as a blockchain. This technology has become widely integrated by many industries, with the major beneficiaries being supply chain management, logistics, law and insurance.
This has driven the price of Ether, Ethereum’s native cryptocurrency, through the roof and currently stands at $929 having begun the year 2017 at $8. This represents an unbelievable 10,000% price rise! With more industries adopting smart contracts, the value of Ethereum will keep rising.

2. Ripple
While Ethereum has set itself apart through smart contracts, Ripple has established itself as the currency of choice for money transfers. This sector has long been dominated by global financial institutions which were not only slow and inefficient but also very costly. A cross-border transfer used to take three days using the Swift protocol and would cost a significant amount of money, but this has all been changed by Ripplenet, Ripple’s blockchain-based transfer network. Using Ripplenet, these transfers only take seconds and their price has been reduced by close to 90%.
This has led many reputable financial institutions to adopt Ripple for transfers. These include JP Morgan, Bank of America, Santander, UBS, Barclays, Unicredit, American Express and Credit Suisse. This endorsement by these institutions has seen Ripple rise to become the fourth most valuable cryptocurrency worth over $43 billion. This cryptocurrency, whose native token is XRP, is making strategic partnerships that will see it become the default transfer medium and thus will keep its price soaring high.

3. IOTA
IOTA has been grabbing the headlines of late thanks to its meteoric rise in value. This has resulted mainly from its recently launched data marketplace with the participation of the biggest tech companies including Cisco, Samsung, Fujitsu and Microsoft. This data marketplace will provide a decentralized and secure platform where users can sell data collected by various devices.
This is just one of the many strategic partnerships IOTA is taking to cement its place as the cryptocurrency of the future. IOTA is a cryptocurrency that focuses on the Internet of Things (IoT) and which seeks to provide secure machine-to-machine communication which will form the basis of the IoT revolution. The Internet of Things has grown rapidly over the past few years with over 20 billion devices currently interconnected. With this number expected to grow to 75 billion by 2025, IOTA will be the most important cryptocurrency in the near future. IOTA also provides many of the other features such as privacy, fast transactions, zero transaction fees and more but its focus on the IoT industry which is expected to be worth $100 billion by 2020 is what sets it apart from its peers.

While the number of altcoins is huge, these three are set to dominate 2018 with their unique products. They are the most likely to dethrone Bitcoin as the king of cryptocurrencies as the world focuses more on extra value of cryptocurrencies apart from what Bitcoin offers.