Rival coins ether, the digital token of the ethereum blockchain, and XRP, Ripple’s digital asset, fell alongside bitcoin. Ether toppled almost 6 percent to around $270 at 1:53 a.m. ET, while XRP fell 5.7 percent to a price of 26 cents.
The latest rout among digital coins followed a rally last month that saw bitcoin climb to a price above $8,000. News of institutional interest in the space by the likes of asset management giant BlackRock, as well as a collaboration between New York Stock Exchange owner Intercontinental Exchange, Starbucks and Microsoft on a digital asset platform, had lifted sentiment in the market.
It resulted in the total market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies — worked out by multiplying the prices of the digital assets by the total volume of coins in circulation — falling by $21 billion in the last 24 hours.
According to Charles Hayter, chief executive of digital comparison site CryptoCompare, the downward move in cryptocurrencies was on the back of the postponement of a bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) proposed by VanEck and Solid X.
If it were to be greenlit by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the VanEck Solid X ETF would be the first to track cryptocurrency assets.
Hayter described Monday’s sell-off as “momentum-based selling following the ETF kickback,” and “the usual gyrations of a market in a depressed mode.”
The SEC’s move to delay a decision on the VanEck Solid X bitcoin trust ETF to September 30 followed the regulator’s rejection of a separate ETF proposal from the Winklevoss twins. Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss had made a second attempt to list shares of a bitcoin ETF, which would have been commodity-based.
Bitcoin has recently recovered its dominance in the market as several so-called “altcoins,” or alternative cryptocurrencies, have plummeted in value. It is still, however, roughly 70 percent off the $19,783 all-time high it notched late last year.