A little air emerged from the digital currency balloon today and altcoins are feeling the greater part of the aggravation. Bitcoin is down almost 6% as of 3:37 p.m. EDT, yet lesser-realized coins have fallen beyond double digits today. Polkadot (CRYPTO:DOT) has fallen 8.1% as of now alone, Binance Coin (CRypTO:BNB) is off 6.4%, Solana (CR CYPTO:SOL) has plunged 9.7%, and Cardano (CRYPTO:ADA) is down 9.3%. The move today has to a great extent been accused on brokers taking benefits in all digital currencies, which have generally had a solid run over the previous month. You can see underneath that each crypto mentioned above, outside of Cardano, is up over 20% in the past month.
What’s challenging for investors right now is that there was very little fundamental news driving cryptocurrencies higher in October and by the same token there’s little news driving the market lower today. But there’s red across the board and it appears “selling the news” of the Bitcoin Futures ETF has continued this week.
The move higher has been driven by the launch of a Bitcoin Futures ETF and talk from U.S. regulators about putting formal rules in place for cryptocurrencies, which would give them more legitimacy. What we haven’t seen yet is much action that would increase the utility of any of these coins.
Days like today are the risk investing in cryptocurrencies. The market can go up and down at a moment’s notice and when there’s momentum in one direction or another it’s hard to stop.
Right now, this dynamic has meant that speculators are driving the price of cryptocurrencies and altcoins, in particular. Today’s drop is a reminder that these speculators can move in and out of a cryptocurrency quickly, which is why we see so much volatility.
Making things worse for altcoins is that it’s unlikely every coin will have value long-term. Some investors think cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin, are a store of value, while others think they have utility for buying or selling things. But if people are using a variety of coins it’s hard to have a standard for either.
Different cryptocurrencies have different functionality behind them and I think investors need to be clear what their investment thesis is on any given cryptocurrency. That may be as a store of value or as a utility, but buying just because a cryptocurrency is going up or because you like the name is a bad investment thesis. Long-term, it’s the cryptocurrencies that add value in one form or another that will survive, so buyers should beware of buying something they don’t understand.
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