Bitcoin’s bad Q1 and altcoins’ added pain: What’s ahead?

Bitcoin’s bad Q1 and altcoins’ added pain: What’s ahead?

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Bitcoin’s first quarter of 2018 was BAD! And not in any street jive talk sort of bad being great, cool or stoked. Just simply bad if you were a market timing trader. And altcoins were no better.


altcoin prices an escalator downLet’s take a quick look at how the top 14 coins performed, or more accurately didn’t perform, from Jan 1 to Mar 31, 2018. We’ve ranked these top 14 digital currencies by the size of their market cap – all above $1 billion – on price charts as of today (April 2).


It’s not a pretty picture so far, but can it get better?


Bitcoin (BTC market cap – $119,121,764,380)

bitcoinBitcoin was buffeted by gale force winds. It stumbled out of the gate in the New Year after reaching record highs of $18,737 on December 17, 2017.  It started at $13,746 on Jan 1, 2018, fell more than 50% to $6,121 on Feb 5 and bounced near the bottom at $6,771 on Mar 31. Bad bitcoin, bad boy!


Ethereum (ETH – $38,104,906,536)

EthereumAfter a 2018 high of $824 on Dec 20, Ethereum spiked to its highest ever point at $1,385 on Jan 13, 2018. It dropped to $642 by February 5 and continued its way down to its low point in 2018 so far at $371. Despite all its promises, experts are scratching their head at Ethereum’s fall from grace. Will the handcuffs come off later this year?


Ripple (XLR – $19,288,689,152)

RippleRipple reached its 2017 high on December 29 at $2.44. By Jan 5, it reached its dizzying height of $3.30, seemingly poised to meet expectations as the go to digital currency for banking institutions around the world. Fame is fickle and by Feb 5, it reached a new low of $.69 and became barely a ripple at $.51 by Mar 31. So much for making waves!


Bitcoin Cash (BCH – $11,323,490,565)

Bitcoin CashAs most of us know, Bitcoin Cash walks in the shadows of big brother Bitcoin. It hit its record high of $4,092 on Dec 20. By Jan 20, it had tumbled to $1,429 and the bad news continued as it plunged to $796 by Feb 5 and $691 by Mar 31. Bitcoin Cash, we hardly knew you.


Litecoin (LTC – $6,643,686,366)

LitecoinLitecoin reached its 2018 high on Dec 18 at $351. Often touted as Bitcoin’s faster, smarter and more talented younger brother, Litecoin got a migraine and plunged on Jan 17 to $170. Not finished with that performance, it reached its 2018 low at $110 on February 5 and after periods of brief optimism and recovery dropped down again to $110 by Mar 31. Litecoin – less filling and definitely less appealing.


Stellar (XLM – $4,099,885,668)

StellarStellar‘s performance has been anything but stellar since it reached a dizzying $.93 on January 7, 2018, after a previous 2017 high of $.27 on Dec 29. Stellar’s lumens coin is a fast, decentralized fork of Ripple. By Feb 6, along with its other altcoin relatives, it had tumbled to $.29 and reached its low of $.18 on Mar 29. Fireworks extinguished but maybe stellar things ahead in the future?


Cardano (ADA – $3,960,204,462)

CardanoAnd then there’s Cardano. Who? You know, Cardano – the perfect digital coin with security and anonymity assured and growing in popularity with residents of the dark web. That hasn’t helped it from taking the same elevator down as all the other top altcoins in 2018. From a 2017 high of $$.70 on Dec 31, it spiked briefly to $1.22 on Jan 4 and has moved down ever since, reaching a low of $.18 on Mar 18. Are we in the basement yet?


NEO (NEO – $3,158,395,500)

NEONEO hit its 2017 high on Dec 31 at $.74 and spiked to an incredible high of $178 on Jan 15, 2018. Some altcoin traders made some serious coin if they got out here before things got real. The NEO news got worse, quickly falling to $76 by Feb 5 and parachuting down to $49 by Mar 31. Check your parachutes.


IOTA (MIOTA – $2,851,992,637)

IOTAWith no miners needed and no fees to process transactions IOTA is touted as the perfect digital currency for the Internet of Things (IoT). It’s 2017 high of $5.24 was reached on Dec 20. By Jan 20, it had fallen to $2.81 like most of its digital brethren. It fell further to $1.36 by Feb 6 and reached its first quarter low of $1.03 by Mar 31. Does it have an iota of a chance in the short-term? Maybe.


Monero (XMR – $2,827,362,842)

MoneroMonero is known as safe, secured, anonymous and popular with the dark web crowd and some criminals because of its ironclad anonymity. On Dec 20, 2017, it reached last year’s high of $461. After hitting $482 on Jan 7, the roller coaster down began with a low of $156 on Feb 7 and recovered slightly to $174 by March 31. What a ride!


Dash (DASH – $2,403,184,214)

DashDash is the Princess of the payments coins according to some experts. It’s $1,578 high was reached on Dec 20, 2017 and it’s been downward ever since, dropping to $421 on Feb 5 and it’s Q1 low of $305 on Mar 31. Your hopes may have been dashed but keep an eye on it to recover later in 2018.


NEM (XEM – $2,027,412,000)

NEMWith its own code, fast speeds, lower processing cost and what it calls “proof of importance”, NEM hit its 2017 high of $1.07 on Dec 31 and on Jan 7 hit its 2018, Q1 high of $1.89.  Predictably, it tumbled to $.46 by Feb 7 and fell further to its low of $.21 on Mar 30. Time will tell if it can regain its importance.


Ethereum Classic (ETC – $1,411,112,875)

Ethereum ClassicETC took a fork in the road after a 2017 high of $43 on Dec 20, and another high of $45 on Jan 14, 2018. It took a classic fall to $14 by Feb 6, recovered sharply to $42 by Feb 19, before getting back on the escalator down to its Q1 low of $13 on Mar 30. A now classic 2018 altcoin performance.


What’s ahead for cryptocurrency in 2018?


Our favorite analyst Tom Lee is sticking by his predictions of an improvement in the larger market cap coins in the short-term by mid-summer – potentially good news for Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic and NEO.


Bitcoin bowlingOn the altcoin front, he expects the “purgatory” to continue until early fall when altcoins should be more attractive as they recover according to his analysis.


Following are several posts with analysis from Tom Lee and his colleagues at Fundstrat to help you make sense of the current market and what’s ahead for cryptocurrency:

Analyst Tom Lee: Hodl and Avoid Altcoin “Purgatory”

Altcoin Bear Market May Be Over, Purgatory Awaits

Fundstrat Says Regulatory Headlines Add Further Bitcoin Misery

“Bitcoin Misery Index” Says It’s Time to Buy Bitcoin

Tom Lee: Cryptocurrency Poised for Mid-Year Comeback


We hope you enjoyed this review of cryptocurrency in Q1 2018. Please share this post if you found it valuable, and we’d be delighted if you join us as a subscriber at the top of the page.


Editor’s note: Information on Blockcoin Today is not intended as investment advice. Please consult your own investment advisors for appropriate guidance and counsel.


Author: Jeff Domansky, Managing Editor