This morning saw Ethereum hit a 16-month low, falling to scarcely over $170/£130 as it continues to decline from highs of over $1,300/£1,000 at the start of the year.
Other major cryptocurrencies are also feeling the pressure; Bitcoin has dropped almost 16% since the start of last week and Ripple (XRP) continues its fairly steady decline since its last substantial hike in April.
Comparing prices against the Dec '17/Jan '18 highs gives a very skewed picture of the market; after an unprecedented year of ICOs raising in the region of $6bn, the hype around blockchain tech sent cryptocurrency prices skyrocketing, with Bitcoin almost topping $20,000 in Dec '17 before starting its decline throughout 2018.
Investors in Bitcoin, Ethereum and other major cryptocurrencies may, understandably, have concerns over the recent price drops (and are probably kicking themselves if they're still holding coins they acquired last year), but what does this mean for blockchain technology as a whole?
Cryptocurrencies are just one application of blockchain technology, and the success or failure of the major cryptocurrencies (or of cryptocurrencies generally) is not inherently linked to the successful adoption and utilisation of blockchain systems.
Start-ups (and tech giants) across the world are exploring more and more innovative use cases for blockchain and DLT and, despite the various hurdles the blockchain space has seen over the past year, confidence in the opportunities that the technology brings doesn't appear to be waning too drastically - ICOs this year have raised over $18bn already.
The days of raising 10-figure sums for a half-cocked business model off the back of a 2-page white paper might well be over, but the volatility of the market is, if anything, serving to weed out the sharks from the gems. For developers and entrepreneurs with innovative and commercially viable ideas, interest from VC investors and the public appears to remain strong, and ICOs remain an attractive option for fundraising (although the long term effect of Tuesday's ruling by a US federal judge, that US securities laws will apply to fraudulent ICOs, is yet to become apparent...).
Ethereum crashes to a 16-month low