Why the Bitcoin and Ethereum prices hit new 52-week lows today

After a brief respite over the middle of the week cryptocurrencies have resumed their steep falls today to hit new 52-week lows across the board as speculators continue to sell out perhaps in anticipation of further price falls.

Let’s take a look at the latest scoreboard damage for crypto investors as prices print new lows. All prices accurate as at 15.55pm AEST according to financial news wire

  • The Bitcoin price is at a 52-week low of US$4,298 and down 7.3% in 24 hours
  • The Ethereum price is at a 52-week low of US$124.90 and down 10.5% in 24 hours
  • The Ripple price is at US$0.4105 and down 8.4% in 24 hours
  • The Litecoin price is at US$31.81 and down 9.3% in 24 hours
  • The Stellar Lumens price is at US$0.1807 and down 11% in 24 hours
  • The Bitcoin Cash price is at US$326 and down 1.9% in 24 hours

So what’s going on?

As before due to the opaque nature of the cryptocurrency space it’s very difficult to explain why digital currencies may be moving up or down on any single day.

However, the continued weakness in Bitcoin as the original and largest cryptocurrency is bad news for all digital currencies as Bitcoin is considered a bellwether or flagship currency.

As such if its price falls then all of the other cryptocurrencies tend to follow it lower.

One factor not helping is the weakness in wider capital and equity markets.

For example leading stock indices such as the NASDAQ 100 or S&P / ASX 200 (ASX: XJO) have posted 10% falls in value themselves over just the past couple of months. Of course these falls are modest compared to the 75%-90% falls experienced by crypto investors over the past 12 months, which suggests investors may be better off looking at traditional equities over internet currencies in times of increased uncertainty.

For example Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) currently offers a trailing yield greater than 7% based on dividend payouts of $1.88 in the past year and although it might have to trim its dividends in the year ahead it’s not going to blow up your capital crypto-style.

Or a business like Sydney Airport Holdings Ltd (ASX: SYD) offers some earnings growth and a yield of 5.6% based on the airport’s generally reliable forecasts for 37.5 cents per share in dividends in FY 2019.

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