Another Rough Month For Bitcoin And Peers

The cryptocurrency market bloodbath continued during August as nearly all the major coins suffered double-digit-selloffs. Indeed, the market cap for all digital currencies fell to $191 billion on August 14, its lowest level since early November of last year, and more than $600 billion off its all-time high of $828 billion on January 8.

Further pressuring the crypto market during the past month: the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) delayed their ruling on a proposed Bitcoin-related exchange-traded fund (ETF) from VanEck and SolidX, a move that crypto bulls believe would have greatly increased the size of the market. Crypto enthusiasts now have a few weeks in limbo. The SEC has pushed decision-day to September 30.

For the better part of a year, cryptocurrencies have been in steady decline, dogged by a number of exchange hacks, which included a security breach at South Korean crypto exchange Bithumb—one of the largest exchanges in Asia. Regulatory concerns centered on the integrity of the nascent technology, specifically in South Korea and China, have also weighed.

During August the price of Bitcoin, the world's biggest virtual currency by market cap, fell nearly 10%, to end the month at around the $7,000-level. Bitcoin is off some 50% since the start of the year as regulators around the world stepped up scrutiny of an asset class (and industry) that was initially embraced by those distrustful of banks and government control over monetary policy.

Technically, over the course of the month, most digital currencies failed to break out of their downtrends and rise back above their respective 200-day moving averages. This usually signals that sellers remain in control.

Highlighting just how bearish the action in cryptos was in August, there are now just 15 digital currencies with a market cap greater than $1 billion, compared to 19 at the end of July. Of the 15, all closed the month lower than where they had started on July's final day of trading.