Cryptocurrencies rode into the New Year on the back of euphoric sentiment and record valuations. Three months later, those valuations have bitten the dust amid a spate of bad news and scandals.
Cardano and Ripple were the biggest losers among the top 10 cryptocurrencies during the first quarter. The former shed 78.26% of its value while the latter lost 77.88% of its price from the beginning of this quarter. In other words, if you had invested $100 each in Cardano’s ADA and Ripple’s XRP and sold them at the end of this quarter, you would have got back only $23 and $22 each respectively.
That, of course, is not to say that other cryptocurrencies performed any better. The average fall in value for the top 10 cryptocurrencies was 55.23%. Bitcoin, the original cryptocurrency which sets the pace for other coins, fell by 48%. Even NEO and Ethereum’s ether, two cryptocurrencies that registered gains through most of this quarter, buckled under a swooning market’s pressure towards the end and fell by more than 45% from their prices at the start of this quarter.
Bitcoin enthusiasts often provide the example of price performance of the cryptocurrency during the first quarter of 2017 as proof that the markets always decline during this time. But that comparison is not exactly apt in this case.
Consider these statistics: Ethereum registered an astounding gain of 596,400% during the first quarter of last year. The price of its cryptocurrency ether shot up from $0.008 to $47.72 in the first three months of 2017. Ripple’s XRP had gains of 266% while Litecoin, NEO and Dash rose by 51.6%, 38.8% and 566.8% respectively. (Other cryptocurrencies listed in the top 10 did not exist at the start of 2017).
So, does this mean that drawdown in cryptocurrency markets during the first quarter this year should concern investors?
Not really. The decline in cryptocurrency prices has occurred after a prolonged swell in cryptocurrency markets on the back of positive momentum. During this period, crypto valuations reached unsustainable highs that probably would have been untenable in the long run. The current decline in prices can be seen as a correction of sorts that sets the stage for a further (and sustainable) rally in cryptocurrency prices.