Cryptocurrency price have gotten even crazier than before over the few weeks Bitcoin crashed, burned and rose from the ashes again, while Ethereum shot up like a rocket.

Back on March 1, Ethereum coins were trading at a price of $17.22; that more than doubled to a high of $43.87 on March 16, before settling to a more modest $41.26 on March 23, 2017. This means Ethereum’s value increased by $24.04 in less than a month, according to data supplied by our friends at Coinbase.

Then there was bitcoin which shot up to a high of $1,270.32 on March 6, before falling to a low of $1,024.30 on March 19. Note some websites had bitcoin’s price much lower, under $1,000 at some points. Bitcoin then recovered to $1,049.17 each by March 23, 2017.

Therefore bitcoin lost $246.02 in value over the course of March 2017 and the month is not even over. It looks as if cryptocurrency is once again demonstrating its volatility.

Why are Cryptocurrency Prices fluctuating so dramatically?

The best answer to the above query is that cash is flowing out of bitcoin and into ethereum. The other is that is cryptocurrencies are so easy to buy and sell it makes them inherently unstable.

This occurs because a cryptocurrency is a purely digital investment. Modern trading tools make it possible for anybody with a little intelligence to sit down at the computer or pick up the smartphone and buy or sell large amounts of bitcoin or ethereum in a few seconds.

That creates a sort of market populism which makes dramatic turns in the market not only possible but probable. All it takes is one sensational news story about bitcoin going up, China banning bitcoin, the Winklevoss twins, or President Trump sneezing to move the cryptocurrency markets drastically.

Watch out for Journalists Manipulating the Cryptocurrency Markets

There is obvious a real danger of market manipulation or insider trading here, my guess is that it is only a matter of time before some “impartial journalist” gets caught buying or selling large blocks of cryptocurrency. A major scandal will occur if one of the commentators famed for bad mouthing bitcoin is found to hold a large block of it.

The problem for investors and regulators here is the anonymity provided by cryptocurrency. It would be real easy for a journalist to hide large investments in cryptocurrency. Another problem is that such hypocritical trading would probably not be illegal at least in the United States.

Since the First Amendment guarantees freedom of speech and the press, journalists have the right to write whatever they want. That means you should be real skeptical of all press coverage of cryptocurrency negative or positive. Be especially leery of articles or blogs that claim bitcoin is about to crash or about to go through the roof.

So what is Ethereum anyway?

Ethereum is a next-generation blockchain-based cryptocurrency that’s a lot more sophisticated than bitcoin. Bitcoin does just one thing; it serves an encrypted store of value.

Ethereum is a store of value, but it can also serve a contract or a record of legal obligations. This means it can function as a futures contract, or a legal document like a stock certificate or an old-fashioned bearer bond. Its creators at the Ethereum Project hope to be able to create markets and binding legal documents with it.

A good way to think of bitcoin is as the Model T of cryptocurrencies. The Model T Ford was a very simple and crude car with a lot of limitations, it initially had no roof or starter and came in one color (black); yet it got people in the habit of driving.

After a while many of the drivers got tired of the Model T and traded it in for something bigger, faster, more powerful and more versatile. This might be what’s happening; experienced cryptocurrency users are trading up to the more sophisticated ethereum, just as great grandfather eventually traded his Model T in for a Dodge or a Hudson.

That might mean cryptocurrencies are growing up and changing the market dramatically. Expect to see far more volatility and even more dramatic moves in cryptocurrency prices in the weeks ahead.

 

 

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