Narrow spreads, low volatility, and relative calm. If someone asked you to name an asset class with those qualities, would your answer be cryptocurrencies? Absolutely not!
Cryptocurrencies like Ethereum are rocket rides to the moon, not scooter rides on Venice Beach. They are dangerous, thrilling, and life-altering.
Yet they haven’t looked that way in the last three days.
For example, the Ethereum to USD exchange rate moved up 0.05% in the last 24 hours. The ETH to Bitcoin increase was slightly more exciting at 1.09%, but it was also nothing to write home about.
What’s going on?
ETH is usually associated with words like “overnight success” and “ new millionaires.” Heck, when it’s on the slide, you’re likely to hear some TV pundit talking about how Ethereum is “a massive bubble.”
But no one would have described it as boring.
What makes it worse is that the slump happened amid some truly wonderful Ethereum news.
For one thing, Ethereum successfully tested out an upgrade to improve privacy on the platform. And in doing so, it basically poached the best parts of Zcash.
Normally, this would have kickstarted a rally, but crypto markets are sluggish after the China fiasco from last week.
Also, the developers of the Raiden network launched a test version this week. Raiden is one of the pillars of Ethereum’s scaling strategy, so the early release of a pilot program should have been greeted with enthusiasm. But it wasn’t.
What is going on?
From where I’m standing, it looks like investors lost their nerve after the Chinese crackdown on cryptocurrencies. They see downside risk everywhere, and yet they’re willing to ignore all the potential upside.
Never mind that the Chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Association went on stage and said that blockchain is in the “national interest.”
That he suggested converting Dodd-Frank into one big smart contract on the blockchain is probably not that relevant to the Ethereum price forecast. Oh, wait. Yes, it is! He is a chief regulator of cryptocurrencies.
If the market reacts negatively to bearish regulations, shouldn’t it react positively to bullish comments from top regulators? All I’m asking for is a little consistency.