After several weeks of selling off the all-important $1 trillion level, all crypto market caps have finally breached the upside barrier, albeit just barely. However, it’s a mini milestone where blockchain advocates want to turn around the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy. Over the past year, the central bank has tightened the money supply sharply, endangering particularly risky asset classes. But with inflation easing, supporters hope for a strategic pivot.
It is possible that such a pivot could materialize, which would be a good thing for crypto. “Fed tightening appears to be lighter and inflation less risky,” Charles Hyter, CEO of crypto data site CryptoCompare, said in emailed comments. CNBC:. “There is hope that there will be more caution in global rate hikes.”
However, investors should be careful. During the last major bull cycle, cryptos peaked at $545 billion in early 2018. Soon after, the industry’s total market cap fell to $140.5 billion at the end of March. By early May, the sector had reached a value of roughly $302 billion, more than doubling before imploding once again. In other words, be careful. Anything and everything can happen to cryptos.
Crypto to watch. Bitcoin (BTC-USD)
Continuing his remarkable run higher, Bitcoin: (BTC to USD) is a hair under $23,000 at the time of writing. At the beginning of the year, BTC was trading below $17,000. Over the course of a few weeks, contrarian gamblers came out with a return of around 35%. The question now is, should they sell or keep digging in hopes of higher returns?
What’s even more amazing about Bitcoin and other cryptos is their flexibility. Despite the bankruptcy of the digital asset lender Genesis Global Capital, BTC avoided the downside. Instead, the main catalyst behind virtual currencies likely centers on Fed policy. If it changes its monetary tightening strategy, BTC could be in the running.
Still, it’s important to keep things in perspective. After the initial fall in the price of Bitcoin in February 2018, BTC managed to rise about 32% before gradually falling. Therefore, investors need this rally to last for more than a month. Otherwise, the bears may bite a bit from the revival.
Crypto to watch. Ethereum (ETH)
Another crypto name that continues to impress viewers is Ethereum: (ETH – USD) started the year at about $1,200. ETH is currently trading at $1,635, representing a 36% return in one month. Even better from a technical analysis perspective, ETH is now clearly above its 50 and 200 day moving averages.
In principle, Ethereum also managed to wipe out the bankruptcy of Genesis Global Capital alongside other major cryptos. Currently, however, all eyes are on the upcoming Shanghai Heavy Fork. Aiming for a March 2023 release, this protocol update will allow Beacon Chain staked ether (ETH) withdrawals as per Coindesk.com. Ethereum developers also created a “shadow fork” to provide a testing environment before the Shanghai upgrade.
While circumstances bode well for ETH, investors should note that Ethereum doubled in value between April and May 2018 before falling into blockchain purgatory. Therefore, investors should be careful when betting too much on this and other cryptos.
Crypto to watch. Tether (USDT)
As a stablecoin, Connect (USDT-USD) does not change significantly in value when pegged one-to-one to the US dollar. Long-term ownership of Tether made some sense in previous years. With the dollar’s purchasing power steadily eroding, investors had an incentive to try their hand at risky assets like cryptos. However, due to the aforementioned change in Fed policy, crypto traders should think carefully moving forward.
For example, at the time of writing, Tether has gained 0.048% of its market value for the year. For comparison, the purchasing power of the dollar increased by 0.30% between November and December last year. Therefore, by holding on to plain old dollars, everyday individuals can earn more by just sitting on cash.
To be fair, holding Tether allows interested parties to acquire crypto at lightning speed. However, with the Fed not certain to cut benchmark interest rates, virtual currencies remain a risky proposition. Combined with the explosion of other stablecoins, investors should be wary of excessive exposure to USDT.
Putting it under the belt Binance: virtual currency exchange, BNB: (BNB-USD) is an unfortunate focus on it, competing platforms are facing bankruptcy. Fortunately, BNB has also jumped on the bandwagon of recent controversy, jumping higher alongside other cryptocurrencies. The coin has gained more than 7% of its market value in the last week. And in the past 24 hours since writing, it has increased by more than 5%.
From a technical analysis perspective, BNB certainly looks promising as the current price is above its 50 and 200 DMAs. At the beginning of the year, BNB was trading hands for approximately $244. As I write these words, it is close to $322, representing a 32% return.
Although impressive, BNB went on a recovery rally between March and June 2018 following a correction in January of that year. From roughly $8 to a peak of $17.27, BNB gained about 116% of its market value. Again, as impressive as this year’s 32% return is, investors should keep things in perspective.
While other cryptos posted decidedly encouraging chart patterns, the recovery surged Cardano (ADA – USD) leaves some room for mild anxiety. Don’t get me wrong, Cardano has been nothing short of impressive. At the January opener, ADA sold hands for roughly a quarter of the US. Right now, however, the ADA has managed just under 38 cents. Rounding out, we’re talking a sweet 52% return, and January isn’t over yet.
However, what may deter some prospective investors is that Cardano has failed to breach its 200 DMA at this point. Close enough to be sure. The 200 DMA is 40 cents, while the ADA is trading at 38 cents, leaving a 5% gap and some change. That’s nothing in the crypto world. However, it stands out because many other non-stablecoin digital assets have crossed their 200 DMAs.
Furthermore, despite Cardano’s stratospheric run, it has fared better as a dead cat bouncer in 2018. Between April and May of that year, ADA posted a 149% return. So yes, it’s great to be excited about cryptos right now. Just keep things in perspective though.
When it was dubbed the Ethereum killer for its ability to drive high-speed transactions at a fraction of the cost associated with the ETH network, Solana (SOL-USD) generated a lot of interest among blockchain developers. Soon, investors keenly seeking the capital gains potential of cryptos jumped on board, sending SOL to the moon.
Unfortunately, Solana was caught up with some notorious people FTX: bankruptcy. Although Reuters: reports that Solana and FTX have little to do with each other, FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried’s outspoken support for SOL saw the coin flopped. Still, this year has seen one of the most remarkable crypto rallies. Starting at around $10 per coin, the price rose to around $25.
While certainly pleasing to SOL newcomers, the digital asset still has a mountain to climb. Long term support is around $30. Therefore, Solana needs another 20 percent rally from here. Considering we’re talking about crypto, a 20% move is perfectly reasonable. However, it pays to tread carefully.
Although Dogecoin: (DOGE – USD) is somewhat controversial due to its defiant stance, this defiant attitude also fascinates viewers. If you consider some of the most popular cryptos, the white papers behind them aim for a better economy, a better world, or at least a better blockchain. With Dogecoin, the focus seems to be on community and fun.
It’s not a particularly serious venture, but that’s why it’s so refreshing. With Dogecoin, you are gambling. Therefore, any time you go to DOGE, you know what you’re getting into. There is no cover in the sense that your speculation is framed as a way to fight world hunger.
Certainly, DOGE has performed well this year. From around 7 cents since January, DOGE has risen to 9 cents, generating a 28% return. However, back in April 2018, Dogecoin gained 119% before eventually falling and drifting. So it’s okay to be a little skeptical about the current rally.
Release date: Josh Enomoto held a long position in BTC, ETH, USDT, ADA and DOGE. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, subject to InvestorPlace.com Publication guidelines.