2018 has been particularly cumbersome for the cryptocurrency markets, as Bitcoin and its altcoin brethren have endured a bashing. The preeminent cryptocurrency has hit a two month low sitting around $8,800 according to Coinmarketcap data at the time of writing.
There are a plethora of reasons why the market has been trampled in the first month of the new year. Much of this has been due to uncertainty over regulatory moves by governments around the world, in reaction to what was a revolutionary year for the cryptocurrency market as a whole.
A couple of weeks of serious uncertainty in South Korea, a tightening of the regulatory belt in massive economies like China and India, and some harsh commentary coming from financial heads and world leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos have led to a sell-off in the cryptocurrency markets.
The overall market capitalization has dipped to $415 bln, with Bitcoin’s market dominance sitting at around 35 percent. Its price drop has been mimicked by almost every altcoin in the top 50, all in all, summing up the current mood in the space.
However, its not all doom and gloom as industry experts, those cryptocurrency gurus who’ve been around since it all started, have seized the moment to highlight vital characteristics that led to cryptocurrencies being adopted around the world.
Casting aside fear, uncertainty and doubt, core members of the community believe the very qualities that underpin the revolutionary aspects of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies will inevitably be their saving grace from market manipulation and governmental crackdowns.
Bitcoin Foundation founder Charlie Shrem posted some insightful comments on Twitter this week, as Bitcoin continued it’s slide to recent lows.
In an eight-part series of Tweets, Shrem unpacked the prevailing sentiment towards cryptocurrencies by banks and government institutions.
Starting off, he said that “Bitcoin and other privacy-focused and decentralized cryptocurrencies are the biggest innovation of my lifetime. They literally take the power and control of money out of the hands of government and into the hands of people that use it.”
He hit out at recent ICOs that have created ‘a dilution of our beautiful technology’ calling ‘permissioned Blockchains’ and ‘digital ledger technology’ glorified ‘google spreadsheets.’ He also said anything that claims to be Blockchain technology but is controlled by a single entity is not Blockchain.
Following that, he explained why this ‘liberating’ technology will be targeted and undermined by established institutions.
“Of course governments are going to do the same. What did you think? They would roll over while we built our alternative financial system and people started using it? Governments don’t like competition.”
The World Economic Forum in Davos also provided a glimpse of the future, as more governments are likely to follow in the footsteps of Russia and Venezuela, that are issuing state-owned virtual currencies.
Shrem also cautioned against this move, saying we will “see a systemic push for regulated and controlled Blockchains by ‘DLT’ companies, banking consortiums and governments. THESE ARE NOT CRYPTOCURRENCIES. Do not be fooled!”