Digital currency markets, after being depressed and in a downward trend since their all-time highs of January 2018, have rallied in the last two weeks.
Whether it is coincidental that the US government has “reopened for business,” or a prolonged trade standoff between the Trump administration and China has failed to find a resolution, $20 billion has been pumped back into crypto asset markets since the start of February.
Over the past two weeks total market capitalization for the entire digital coin industry climbed over 20 percent and, during Tuesday’s Asian trading session, markets hit a high of $134 billion, marking their best performance in almost six weeks. More significantly, daily trading volumes have reached their highest levels for almost nine months. According to market analytics website Coinmarketcap.com, daily trade volume was over $34 billion on Tuesday, higher that it has been since early May 2018.
Bitcoin has traditionally been the bellwether for market sentiment with most other virtual assets following its movements. This rally has been slightly different, however, as it is being catalyzed by two decentralized application (dApp) platforms, Ethereum and EOS.
Since the weekend Ethereum has gained over 20% and EOS, the world’s fourth largest crypto token, is up almost 30%. Litecoin has also performed well in recent weeks and is up over 100% since the big market dip in mid-December.
The driving momentum for Ethereum could be a much-delayed technical network upgrade, which will usher in a number of improvements for transaction cost and efficiency. The upgrade is now reportedly due at the end of the month.
Major US institutional involvement is expected in 2019 especially if the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), which owns the NYSE, and multinational financial services corporation Fidelity bring crypto products to market. JP Morgan’s foray into the industry with its own private and centralized stablecoin will have also raised general industry awareness.
In general, long term technical analysis is still bearish, with many prominent industry observers predicting more pain ahead for crypto markets before any real and prolonged recovery can be measured. However, with markets jumping 20% in less than a fortnight, there is undoubtedly renewed hope for all those holding digital assets.