The Ethereum price (ETH/USD) has seen significant losses in the past 24 hours, mirroring a larger downtrend observed across the cryptocurrency market.
The second-largest cryptocurrency on the market suffered a significant drop yesterday, in a rocky trading session marked by some heavy price fluctuations. The digital coin closed the session at $669.92, down from its opening price of $689.76.
Ethereum continued its decline in the early hours of today’s session, dropping to an intraday low of $637.54. While the cryptocurrency was able to bounce off this low, rising to as high as $674.38, it has subsequently pulled back to price levels below its yesterday close. At the time of writing, the Ethereum price was hovering around $650, according to data from cryptocurrency tracker Coinmarketcap.
Ethereum’s performance may have been hindered by a recent media report, suggesting that US regulators are examining whether it and other popular crypto tokens should be treated as securities.
Citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter, the Wall Street Journal reported earlier today that both the US securities and commodities watchdogs are exploring whether the creators of digital currencies have significant influence over their value, “in the same way a company’s stock price depends on its managers and their strategy, performance and investments”. This analysis reportedly targets Ethereum and other altcoins, rather than the original cryptocurrency Bitcoin (BTC), which has been deemed as commodity by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).
According to the Journal’s sources, some regulators think Ether occupies a “gray zone”, but believe its creation in 2014 was probably an illegal securities sale. In July of that year, the Ethereum Foundation sold the first 60 million Ether tokens, raising more than 31,000 Bitcoins, worth about $18.3 million at the time.
Last week, Gary Gensler, the former chairman of the CFTC and currently senior lecturer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, opined that Ethereum and Ripple could probably be classified as securities.
In today’s trading, the Ethereum price stood at $652.81, as of 16:55 BST. The cryptocurrency has lost of its value4.5% in the past 24 hours.
For further information on how to buy and trade Ethereum, see our comprehensive Ethereum guide.