Cryptocurrency Market July Review: Market Recovery on Though Slow

All cryptocurrencies now have a combined market cap of $274 billion, an increase of $17 billion or a 6 percent increase compared to $256 billion market capitalization at the beginning of the July month. The total volume of cryptocurrencies traded has also assumed the same trend, currently at 16 billion and on a gradual increase since hitting a three months low of 11 billion on June 29.

The market capitalization has gradually been recovering since hitting a three months low of $234 billion on June 29 but also on a continued decline since hitting a high of $813 billion in January.

But then again, looking at the charts for most cryptocurrencies in the top ten list, the market generally has gradually been recovering (long term recovery) since May. So in general, it may be a few months yet to massive price jumps supported by the many investments that are happening in the space right now.

So far, most of 2018 has been tough for cryptocurrencies with massive decline in prices since the start of the year. But many see the decline as a massive correction and normal market cycle. For instance, a basic correction has been taking place since January after a major hike end of last year and many believe that is common for any markets that attracts many new entrants especially for cryptocurrency market that relies on new entrants for prices to increase.

Other than the normal market correction, the cryptocurrency market prices have been declining (temporarily) due to a combination of a number of reasons. In other words, there are many reasons that have been causing short-term declines that add to the overall declines. Some of these reasons that have been causing declines include the hacks of South Korean exchanges Bithumb and CoinRail the two of South Asia’s biggest exchanges.

Others include regulations in different places such as in South Korea, China and India, for instance, where there have been extreme financial measures adopted and disruptions including crack downs on crypto exchanges, suspension by South Korea exchanges to register new users, their terminating of accounts of crypto companies and halting all dealings of virtual currencies, as well as closure of some exchanges. These factors have a combined effects of lowering market activity, for instance as witnessed from January.

However, the decline is characterized by a period during which there is lots of institutional investment and other developments in the space that might help the markets to build a momentum that translates into an organic upswing in future.

For instance, IBM, in partnership with Barclays, Citigroup and CLS, have launched a blockchain-specific app store for financial apps. On the appstore, financial institutions can find various distributed ledger technology-based services that suit their various needs. The app-store is hosted on a single, permissioned blockchain network and will facilitate the creation, hosting and usage of different application. It comes at a time when blockchain tech is finding increasing use in the banking scenes, for instance to facilitate KYC, data storage and complex processes of trade settlement.

Currently, all the hosted apps are Hyperlegder based but LedgerConnect founders are open to other enterprise blockchain solutions joining the app store.

And Bitmain profits are currently up. Bitmain, the world's largest cryptocurrency mining hardware company, netted in $1.1 billion in net profits in the first quarter of the year after a successful 2017 in which they earned a profit of $1.2 billion.

Also, Huobi will be allowing huge Bitcoin transactions (large amounts of Bitcoins) via OTC to let people buy BTC using Rubee. The transactions are zero-fee. This is good news after July reports that Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) banned banks' dealings with crypto-related businesses and persons. Still in the country, Nucleus Vision cryptocurrency, which is just 4 months, has also partnered with India’s largest consumer electronics retailer Croma which has over 100 stores all across India where the cryptocurrency will now be used. IBM is finally targeting to launch its cryptocurrency that is more stable, for its blockchain.

Review of top ten cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin cryptocurrency recorded a surprise high of $8,000 in the near end of July although the increase was short lived. At the back of the increase were rumors, although another announcement by Coinbase that it will introduce a new custody solutions for institutional investors may have also contributed to the increase.

The price is now back to the $7k level even as announcement came that the Exchange Traded Fund application by Winklevoss brothers was rejected by SEC saying there were fears of manipulation. SEC said that it was skeptical that Bitcoin market was secure against manipulation in addition to the fraud and other potential risks it presents to customers.

Again, SEC received an application for a Bitcoin ETF license from CBOE Global Markets and requested comments on the application on June 26. According to the proposal, it will trade with SolidX Bitcoin Shares with each share worth 25 Bitcoin. If approved, consumers will see trading options available in the first quarter of 2019. ETFs are seen as more likely to increase demand for cryptocurrencies because ETFs will buy Bitcoin directly on exchanges. This is in addition to increasing the flow of institutional money into cryptocurrency markets. The launching of custody solutions by Coinbase and Ledger could help this.
ETFs are also likely to pave the way for an options-based product for cryptocurrencies.

Besides that, worst announcements for Bitcoin include the ban by Google for crypto mining products from Play Store even as Facebook lifted the ban on cryptocurrency-related ads. Apple Inc. also previously banned crypto mining apps. The ban by Google excludes "apps that remotely manage the mining of cryptocurrency."

Nevertheless, so far so good for Bitcoin in the last one month: the cryptocurrency started the month at $6384 per coin and after successfully testing a $6,000 support level, it went above $8000 mark (recording $8,400 on July 25) and is now trading at above $7500. Basically, it has been on a gradual increase in the month being one of the many cryptocurrencies trading in positive territory for a month's trend. Bitcoin enthusiasts were hoping that it would show some promising support above $8,200 and then $7,700 but it dropped further below $7300 as of yesterday.

Ethereum, which clocked 3 yesterday, started the month of July at $456 and is now trading at $426. The price basically remained between $420 and $480 for most of July. Ethereum, which in April launched own officially branded stablecoin called World Trade Francs that is set to be more stable than ETH and other cryptocurrencies to let people use currency and store funds and engage in commerce without worrying of volatility in funds between the time received and when used.

Recently, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) announced that it is testing a new system based on Ethereum blockchain. The bank said it shipped 17 tonnes of almond from Australia to Germany using this new blockchain-based trade-chain system. The so called Australia's 'Big Four' banks said the testing of the private blockchain platform built on Ethereum network was successful. It will help digitize three key areas of global trade, namely operations, documentation, and finance. Ethereum is generally still on decline trend since hitting more than $1,300 in January although again the decline has been slowing since May.

XRP price started the month at $0.44, just a few points lower than the July starting price. The cryptocurrency recorded the highest price of $0.50 on July 03 before gradually declining to $0.44 at the end of the month. The cryptocurrency is now listed on Coinsquare as a new addition, although addition by exchanges has not spurred huge demand. Taiwanese cryptocurrency exchange, Bitrue said it will also be offering trading pairs with XRP base and hence diverging from the tradition to set base currencies as ETH and BTC. The exchange, which is collaborating with Wanchain cross chain platform, said it will be listing only professionally selected ICO tokens.

DCEX, a decentralized cryptocurrency exchange backed by Mike Novogratz, will also use XRP as their base currency for their 15 trading pairs and listing of 10 coins from Bloomberg Galaxy Crypto Index. Its CEO said that they settled on XRP so they can cheaply and easily move funds. Neverthless, XRP, just like other cryptocurrencies has seen a gradual decline since hitting above $3.5 in January although the decline has been slower since end of April.

Bitcoin Cash, which is now trading at $766.59 closed the month of July at above $770 per coin. The best hit for the month was a $875 attained on July 18 after attaining the lowest hit of $670 for the month on July 12. Basically, bitcoin closed the month on a positive gain compared to the monthly starting price. The price remained well in the $700 range for the better part of the month.

Also on a gradual decline since attaining a price of over $3700 in January, although the decline started to slow in May. The cryptocurrency, which is celebrating its birthday today August 1, a year after formation a years-long disagreement about the course the cryptocurrency should take, has seen increase in the number of apps on its network in addition to other accomplishments.

EOS is now the fifth largest cryptocurrency, trading at $7.30 per coin, which is not a very good mark since starting the month of July with above $8.0. EOS was on a continued decline to reach lowest of $6.7 on July 12 until mid July when there was a recovery to above $9 on July 18.

EOS released version 1.0 on June 2 to allow developers to rapidly build and deploy high-performance and high-security blockchain-based applications. EOSIO version 1.1.0 was released in July and lays a foundation for more scalable application development and support for an infrastructure team building on the EOSIO blockchain. It also released the developer portal on July 2.

Unlike other cryptocurrencies, EOS trend has been different. Launched last year, the coin was trading at above $15 in January, then hit best price ever of $20.49 on April although it has been on the general trend of decline since then. Poloniex exchange has announced support for EOS to allow customers to deposit and withdraw the coin as well as trade it against USDT and BTC. Poloniex will enable EOS/ETH pairs on August 1st, 2018.

Stellar XLM token became the top monthly performer even as Coinbase announced that it was considering listing it on the exchange. The cryptocurrency, which rose by more than 40 percent monthly in the month of July, is now the sixth largest in market capitalization at just above $5 billion. Stellar's technology is being used in the social messenger Kik and some other teams launching ICOs. The team also hopes to implement scaling solution and lightning network this year.

Litecoin is currently ranked at seventh position with a market cap of around $4.5 billion and trading at $77.94. It started the month of July at around $80 and therefore not much gains or losses although the price has been up and down during the month as would be expected for any cryptocurrency. The price has remained between $75 and $85 for most of the time in July.

The lowest it has recorded in the last three months is a $75 and the highest was $180 on May. The best ever was $352.6 recorded in January and the price has been decreasing since then although, like many other coins, the decline is flattening since May this year.

Some of the greatest news about Litecoin is perhaps the announcement and confirmation by Charlie Lee at the end of the month that Litecoin and Lightning Network will natively be supported on HTC Exodus's cryptocurrency phone that will be released in October. Charlie Lee is an advisor to the project he said, because he sees that having a secure crypto phone that makes LN simple is needed for mass adoption.

The phone, which will be dedicated to decentralized applications and security, will be a smartphone containing a cryptocurrency wallet and CryptoKitties, the Ethereum-based decentralized application (DApp) game. HTC is reportedly building 100 million blockchain phones to supply in the fall.

Cardano's ADA is ranked the eighth largest according to CoinMarketCap and closed the month of July at around $0.15 which is nearly the same price it started the month with. The highest price for the month was $0.19 on July 19 and the lowest was a $0.12 recorded on July 13. IOHK launch of the second Cardano testnet, which is for the IELE virtual machine (VM) and follows the recent launch of the KEVM testnet.

IELE VM enables execution of smart contracts on the Cardano blockchain. The language and its VM is completed and is now being integrated into integrated into Cardano. Cardano recorded best price of $1.22 in January and has generally been declining although the decline is slowing since May 03.

IOTA is ranked the 9th with a market cap of $2.6 billion and Tether 10th with a market cap of $2.4 billion.