Bitcoin and Ether Market Update: March 20, 2019
The top ten cryptocurrencies are all in green for the 24-hour period with Binance Coin (BNB) and Stellar (XLM) being the two exceptions. The Cosmos project coin ATOM stormed onto the list for a short period of time, just a few days after the launch of its Cosmos Hub mainnet.
The total market cap decreased by $500 million since March 18, 2019, and now stands at $139.6 billion. At the time of writing bitcoin (BTC) is trading at $4,017, while ether (ETH) hangs around $138 and XRP trades at $0.31.
Bitcoin closed the trading session on March 18 at $4,075, just a few dollars above its price level from Sunday. Bull traders managed to push the BTC/USD pair up to $4,074 during day trading, but the January high of $4,169 remained one step away.
On March 19, the most popular cryptocurrency climbed up to $4,104 on the Bitfinex daily chart but is trading a little bit lower (at $4,080) in the early hours of March 20.
The Cboe Futures Exchange (CFE), one of the two major Bitcoin futures operators in the U.S. (the other being Chicago Mercantile Exchange) announced on March 15 that it wouldn’t be adding Bitcoin Futures contracts (XBT) for the month of March.
The Chicago Board Options Exchange Global Markets (CBOE) subsidiary will be performing an assessment of how it will offer digital asset derivatives for trading on its platform in the future. It still offers contracts with expiration dates in April, May, and June.
CBOE and CME Bitcoin futures trading began in late 2017 and coincided with the sharp drop in digital asset prices after the registered peak values. It allows people to buy and sell bitcoin without actually owning any and is based on predictions of its future price movement.
The Ethereum token started opened the week by forming another red candle on the daily chart. It lost a dollar of its value to stop at $140.5, still in the upward channel from last week. The ETH/USD pair was trading in the $137 to $145 range on March 18 as trading volumes were still stable between $3.8 and $4.2 billion.
On March 19, ether erased the losses from the previous day and gained a dollar to close at $141.6 and maintain bullish momentum.
During their weekly meeting on March 15, the Ethereum core developers once again agreed to implement the Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) resistant algorithm ProgPoW (short for Programmatic Proof of Work) without giving a firm timeline.
The suggested changes have already been delayed twice in January and February this year due to concerns regarding backdoor vulnerabilities and code errors. In early February, the leading engineers agreed they will proceed with the algorithm upgrade once the Constantinople hard fork is implemented and the proposed changes are reviewed by a third-party audit.