Ethereum price (ETH/USD) plunges 5%

Ethereum, Bitcoin’s closest rival in terms of market capitalization, fell nearly five percent in the last 24 hours, according to averaging data from CoinMarketCap.

Ethereum price (ETH/USD) plunges 5%

The coin, which boasts more functionality than straight-cryptocurrency Bitcoin, is currently trading at $434.78 per token, down 4.62% in 24 hours, as of 8pm, ET, Tuesday.

Having reached a peak of just shy of $1,400 a coin in mid January of this year, Ethereum has been bearish for most of 2018, as have most other altcoins.

This is in spite of the fact that the vast majority of ICOs (initial coin offerings) launch tokens on Ethereum’s network, with many utilising the ERC20 protocol and most accepting donations exclusively in Ether, Ethereum’s native currency.

So, why the slump?

Well, as the saying goes: what goes up, has to come down – this is, of course, especially true of volatile emerging markets such as the cryptocurrency market.

All coins are struggling right now, especially when compared to the same period in 2017; in fact, Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum’s young Russian creator, didn’t mince his words when asked on Twitter about the bearishness of the crypto market.

One Twitter user sent him the below SimilarWeb report on Coinbase's traffic from January 2018 to June 2018:

Coinbase traffic

"The crypto industry is like no other I've seen"

Despite the above data, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong disagrees with Buterin, instead opining that these sorts of ups and downs are par for the course, within the cryptocurrency space.

Armstrong said: “The crypto industry is like no other I’ve seen – lots of up and down cycles (reaching a new plateau each time).

“There have been 3 or 4 of these now. It can be scary the first time you see it, but to us who have been in the industry for many years, it feels like old news.

“When there is hype, people are irrationally exuberant. When there is despair, people are irrationally pessimistic. Neither is true. Reality is always somewhere in the middle, more correlated with real usage (transactions per day) than the price.

“After many years of this, I’ve come to enjoy the down cycles in crypto prices more. It gets rid of the people who are in it for the wrong reasons, and it gives us an opportunity to keep making progress while everyone else gets distracted.

"We use the down cycles to build a strong foundation so we can thrive in the next growth cycle.”

Both offer interesting perspectives on the market's gradual decline.

Additionally, it's worth noting that even if Buterin is indeed correct and we are witnessing the last days of the cryptocurrency boom or bubble or whatever you want to call it, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing; many would agree that the blockchain space would greatly benefit from a shift to stability.

Admittedly, it would mean less lucrative returns for investors, but, on the flipside, it would arguably allow the various blockchain-based platforms and utilities to function more effectively and no longer be viewed as mere investment vehicles.

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