The bitcoin price, which last week looked set to fall under the psychological $6,000 mark after a substantial sell-off, has managed to hold its ground over the last few days — though the same cannot be said of other major cryptocurrencies, including ethereum and ripple (XRP).
Bitcoin, which has been hovering around $6,400 since falling to just over $6,000 on most major exchanges on Friday, has again beaten off some of its biggest rivals — most of which have struggled more than bitcoin to support their valuations this year after 2017’s massive bull run.
In the last 24 hours bitcoin has added a little over 1% to its price, while ethereum is off by 2.5% and ripple (XRP) is down by 1.7%.
Over the past five days, some $43 billion was wiped out off the wider cryptocurrency market from a total of $257 billion on August 7.
The price of ethereum (traded through the token ether) was unable to find support from an announcement from its widely respected founder Vitalik Buterin, who laid out plans for a blockchain consensus algorithm which can survive a so-called 99% attack over the weekend.
Buterin has proposed a way to detect if miners are trying to perform a 51% attack and shut it down before it builds traction, providing additional safety guarantees. If Buterin finds a way of implementing this 1% consensus algorithm it will go some way to making ethereum one of the most robust cryptocurrencies around.
The ethereum price is now trading at yearly lows of around $320, down from over $1,300 in January of this year.
Here’s what’s giving support to the bitcoin price…
On Saturday, for the first time this year, bitcoin’s dominance rate – an indicator that tracks how much of the total cryptocurrency market capitalization is held by bitcoin — crossed the 50% threshold.
This uptick in bitcoin’s total cryptocurrency market share comes amid fears the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission may not grant approval to a hotly-anticipated bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) after announcing it was delaying the decision until September 30 at the earliest. It was previously expected some time this month.
However, many were expecting the decision to be put off and bitcoin’s immediate losses on the announcement were contained.
A rise in bitcoin dominance essentially means bitcoin is more in demand compared to the alternative cryptocurrencies and an increase in bitcoin dominance could be seen as the start of a bull run, as it’s a common route for fiat money to enter the cryptocurrency market.
Elsewhere, bitcoin trading volumes on Turkey’s exchanges have surged over recent days as the country battles to contain a currency crisis that looks set to continue into this week.
Koinim, Turkey’s largest exchange, has reported a 63% increase in Bitcoin trading volume, while the BTCTurk and Paribu exchanges have said their volumes are up 35% and 100% respectively, according to CoinMarketCap data.