On Monday, Ethereum regained the title of second most valuable cryptoccurency after rival asset Ripple held its ground for roughly a week. The market capitalization also plunged lost significantly from $120 billion to around $78 billion, a fall of 35% on the Coinmarketcap, a virtual platform that displays average prices of cryptocurrencies that are traded in the major exchanges worldwide. This anonymity, however, allows for cryptocurrencies to be used for transactions by criminals, which has provoked discussions around the world about how a government could possible regulate the market.
However, new investors must be careful to understand cryptocurrencies before entering the market.
We've talked about regulatory risk being the key driver for the markets, following the impact of South Korean government chatter on the cryptocurrencies late previous year. "By removing that, it looks like the market cap fell by 30 percent and so people rushed to sell because they're not sure what's happening".
Cryptocurrencies were taking a beating on Monday amid concerns over an increase in worldwide regulations, particularly in China and South Korea.
Ripple, the white-hot cryptocurrency that has more than doubled in the past week, fell as much as 39 percent from the all-high reached yesterday.
On Monday, South Korean regulators inspected six local banks that offered cryptocurrency accounts to see if they were observing anti-money laundering rules.
Monday's declines looks to have provided investor opportunity rather than deliver a more significant blow to the markets, though it remains too early to say what the eventual outcome of all of the increased oversight will be and what effect they will have on overall volumes.
"The most obvious point is how undeveloped the ecosystem supporting bitcoin and cryptocurrency trading still is", said ABC Bullion chief economist Jordan Eliseo. Until December 20, the ripple stayed below $1 per coin.
Investors interested in cryptocurrencies should beware of the 20% drop of Ripple, an alternative to Bitcoin.
Bitcoin witnessed another landmark achievement a year ago. "The new price is more accurate and meaningful".