Bitcoin’s price fell further from its weekend highs yesterday, touching a low of $8803.11 yesterday evening. After recovering through most of today, it is back on a downward slide. At 16:32 UTC, the price of a single bitcoin was $9,011.87, a decline of 1.18% from its price 24 hours ago. Other cryptocurrencies were also in the red. Among the top 10 cryptos, NEO, a cryptocurrency which has registered triple-digit gains in the first two months, saw its gains decline to just 14%, as of this writing.
The decline in cryptocurrency market caps occurred despite a slew of positive news about mainstream traction. For example, a Thai bank has extended its tests with Ripple’s technology for cross-border transfers to include more fiat currencies. Japan’s third-largest utility is testing out Bitcoin’s lightning network for micropayments within its network.
In keeping with the declines in individual market caps of coins, the overall market cap for cryptocurrencies moved sideways in the last 24 hours. At 16:44 UTC, cryptocurrency markets were valued at $366.6 billion, down from a high of $382.6 billion this morning.
This Is How Crypto Does It, Down In Puerto Rico
Despacito might not be the word. Puerto Rico, which is fast becoming a destination for blockchain startups, added another crypto-related business to its ranks recently. The former president of the New York Mercantile Exchange told Bloomberg that he is planning to launch the launch the San Juan Mercantile Exchange, a cryptocurrency exchange, in October to “bring reliability to the crypto exchange ecosystem.” The proposed exchange will use proprietary software to process 1.5 million transactions per second. For context, Binance, one of the most popular exchanges around, processes transactions at the speed of 1.4 million transactions per second.
Does the speed matter? Possibly. While their trading volumes have increased in the last couple of years, cryptocurrency exchanges still lag mainstream exchanges in terms of number of transactions. As more investors, including institutional investors, make their way into the cryptocurrency ecosystem, trading volume and transaction numbers are expected to increase.
Ripple Loses Lawsuit
Ripple, whose cryptocurrency XRP has taken a beating after posting solid gains last year, suffered a setback yesterday after a San Francisco court denied its appeal to move a court case filed against it by R3, a banking consortium that boasts the likes of Citigroup and Wells Fargo as members. Ripple had asked for the case to be moved to San Francisco from New York, where it would suffer “irreparable injury”. The litigation has its origins in a contract signed between Ripple and R3 that offered the banking consortium an option to purchase 5 billion of XRP in 2016 for less than a penny each. R3 claims that Ripple has backtracked on its promise. (At one point during the recent run up in Ripple’s price, that stash amounted to $12 billion in fiat currency).
For its part, Ripple claims that the consortium refused to honor its agreement to help it sign up clients from the banking industry. What’s more, the consortium’s founder also did not inform Ripple co-founder Chris Larsen about the departure of prominent banks, such as Goldman Sachs, prior to signing the agreement.