Cryptocurrencies have had a slow start this year, mainly due to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) ordering banks not to deal in cryptocurrencies. Cryptocurrency trading accelerated after the Supreme Court in March reversed the RBI ban and allowed the trading of coins such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin and others. Since then, many online exchanges such as CoinSwitch Kuber and CoinDCX have flourished. But investing in these virtual assets requires due diligence, given the extreme volatility of most cryptocurrencies. One way to do this is to look at the historical data for these currencies.
How cryptocurrencies have behaved in the past few weeks and months can give an idea of their potential in the near future and whether one should invest now or wait.
Here’s how the top 5 cryptocurrencies have behaved so far since the start of this fiscal year (with 1 April mentioned):
Bitcoin is the oldest cryptocurrency in the world. Since its launch in 2009, it has remained the undisputed leader in the cryptocurrency market. On 1st April this year, it was trading around Rs. 42 lakhs but by the end of May, while the market had collapsed dramatically due to the Chinese crackdown on mining operations, it had reached a low of Rs. 22 lakhs. However, bitcoin has recovered. On 17 September, it was traded around Rs. 37 lakhs.
Experts say this is the only virtual currency that has any chance of challenging Bitcoin’s dominance, but it’s far from realizing its true potential. At the beginning of this fiscal year, Ethereum was trading at Rs. 1.40 lakhs. By early August, Rs. 2- Lakh septum. This was the time when the main Ethereum blockchain was upgraded in London. Since then, it has continued to gain in value. On 17th September, at the time of writing, it was trading at Rs. 2.76 lakhs.
Launched in 2017, Cardano is a relatively new digital currency that has jumped out of the queue to find its place in the top five. Described as a third-generation blockchain (Bitcoin and Ethereum are the first and second generations, respectively), Cardano has given returns of nearly 150 percent in just one month. On July 20, it was trading at Rs. 79.71 but by August it reached the highest level of Rs. 191.41. It posted more gains in the next few weeks, reaching an all-time high of Rs. 227 at the beginning of this month. But the gains have since dwindled. On 17th September, at the time of writing, it was trading at Rs. 187.82.
Tether is a stable currency pegged to the US dollar. Being the first, it is the most popular stablecoin. Since it is pegged to the dollar, which means that every Tether coin must be backed by actual dollars in the reserves of Tether Limited, it is very stable compared to other cryptocurrencies. If this stability is to be expected, it also limits the possibility of rapidly increasing wealth. I stayed within Rs. Range 73-75 this fiscal year. It was trading around Rs. 77 on September 17.
It is the fifth cryptocurrency by market capitalization. Technically, Ripple is not a cryptocurrency. It facilitates open source payments and XRP is the cryptocurrency that operates on this network. Its price has doubled since April 1, from Rs. 41 to Rs. 80 now. But it has not seen a rise similar to that which occurred in late 2017, which resulted in it reaching an all-time high of Rs 242 in early January 2018. At the time of writing, it is trading around Rs. 84.
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