Ether (ETH) bounced back from losses earlier this week caused by ICO projects that had raised funds on the ethereum platform cashing out. Meanwhile, bitcoin (BTC) ticked higher on the week Friday afternoon.
Ether hit fresh lows for the year once again this week, continuing on the downward path it’s been on since late spring. The cryptocurrency has slid along with the rest of the digital currencies market, which has seen prices correct from what many have called an overbought status. Ether’s losses, however, have been more pronounced of late. ICOs are continuing to cash out into fiat currencies in order to fund projects and cover expenses. The currency recovered from its losses during the week by Friday afternoon.
“ICOs are starting to capitulate,” Jimmy Song, a bitcoin developer, educator and entrepreneur based in Austin, Texas, tells ThirtyK. “This could turn into a snowball.” Meanwhile, he adds, “Bitcoin continues to chug along.”
The amount of ether spent over time was at $19.7 million as of Thursday, according to data collected by . Meantime, adding to the bearish sentiment surrounding ether, the currency’s co-founder, Vitalik Buterin, told in a report published Saturday that blockchain’s days of explosive growth are likely over.
Looking Past Volatility
Friday afternoon, bitcoin was trading at $6,491.12, according to ThirtyK data provided by , up 0.4 percent from the prior week. The cryptocurrency had climbed to more than $7,000 earlier this month. Bitcoin reached a high for the year of more than $17,000 in January, and has been trending lower ever since. Ether finished the week slightly higher at $218.71, versus $218.50 a week before. Litecoin (LTC) is up 2.6 percent for the week to $58.16.
As volatility continues in the market, Song says he has focused his attention on Lightning Network developments, and especially on a burgeoning technology known as submarine swaps. “The technical concept is fascinating,” Song says.
Currently, bitcoin wallets and addresses are not compatible, meaning funds can’t be sent between the two; an extra step is required. The Lightning Network is second layer” payment protocol, or software designed to make the bitcoin network more efficient. Submarine swaps would allow individuals to exchange value across different blockchains, though the technology is still in its nascent stage.
“You can essentially use a Lightning Network channel like a reusable debit card that can get filled up again and again without going on-chain,” Song says.
A Bright Future
Jake Vartanian, founder of , is also looking past the day-to-day price jumps in the market. “People are too concerned about price,” he tells ThirtyK. “What’s important is that decentralized applications are being built that open new possibilities of value creation for the average individual.”
These open and borderless applications are expanding the opportunities around how people can be “valuable” members of society, Vartanian adds. “A new wave of applications is possible, and anyone with an internet connection can access them and participate. The number of developers in the space is growing, as well as the mindshare.”
Companies such as Dharma, which enables peer-to-peer on a mass scale, eliminating bank loan approvals, and Gitcoin, which lets developers earn money by working on open source projects, are envisioning new ways to employ blockchain technology.
“I look at the sheer amount of attention the space has right now,” Vartanian says. “In relation to when I got into crypto in 2011, it’s pretty wild. The future is bright.”