Bitcoin, Other Cryptos Get Hit on Bad News

The rollercoaster experience that comes with cryptocurrencies seems to be in full effect this week, with Bitcoin and others falling significantly. In less than 24 hours, $BTC plunged from a high of around $7,380 to a low of nearly $6,400. Notably that puts the currency below the $7,000 mark, which as Forbes notes has been regarded as a psychological milestone. As usual, it’s hard to say exactly what is causing this latest cratering, although there could be a couple of culprits.

First came reports that Goldman Sachs was abandoning plans to launch a cryptocurrencies trading desk, blaming regulatory uncertainty. According to Business Insider, the bank has put the project on an indefinite hold, although there are hopes of reviving it somewhere down the line. A spokesperson for Goldman Sachs didn’t offer specifics on what they may or not be looking at but did say, “In response to client interest in various digital products, we are exploring how best to serve them in the space. At this point, we have not reached a conclusion on the scope of our digital asset offering.” Given this delay, it seems likely that crypto investors that had priced increased institutional trading volume into Bitcoin may be wondering if that big day is really anywhere on the horizon.

Unfortunately the Goldman Sachs report wasn’t the only bad news that’s arisen in the past couple of days. Bloomberg also notes that a P2P cryptocurrency trading platform ShapeShift is set to make a controversial change. Known to many as “the exchange without accounts,” CEO Erik Voorhees announced this week that they’d be introducing — you guessed it — accounts that will require members to share basic personal information. Moreover, while Voorhees says these accounts are optional for the time being, he warns that they will become mandatory in one to two months. Defending the decision against critics who predict the end of his platform, Voorhees told Bloomberg, “I’ve also lived through many people declaring the end of Bitcoin. Ultimately, digital assets and digital finance will dominate the planet, and we are here to help make that happen regardless of the various naysayers.”

As they say, “when it rains, it pours.” That old cliche definitely seems applicable to the week the cryptocurrencies have found themselves in. Making matters worse, both of the two stories observers are pegging the price troubles on represent disappointments to two factions of the crypto community. On the one hand the Goldman Sachs delay is frustrating to investors who see cryptocurrencies simply as a way to make money. Meanwhile the ShapeShift change in policy could be seen as an affront to those who believe strongly in the initial intents of cryptocurrencies — which they believe includes anonymity. Obviously the results speak for themselves and it’s unclear when a turnaround will come. Stay tuned…


Jonathan Dyer

I'm a small town guy living in Los Angeles looking to make solid financial decisions. I write for a number of finance websites, including HuffingtonPost and Business2Community. I founded in 2015 to focus on personal finance and the emerging FinTech markets.

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