Bitcoin Markets Struggle Amid Clogged Network and High Fees

It is safe to say the Bitcoin price is struggling quite a bit after this week’s surge. When the Bitcoin price topped US$18,000, it quickly became evident that the momentum wasn’t sustainable in the long run. Ever since that time, the price has only continued to decline even further, which is not all that surprising. It remains to be seen if the launch of Bitcoin futures contracts will have any impact on the market.

Bitcoin Rally Hits a Snag

The year 2017 has been incredibly impressive for the Bitcoin price. We have seen massive gains and also significant corrections. Depending on who’s talking, we might still be in for a massive price correction after the run of the past few weeks. The Bitcoin price has already undergone a very rough patch after surpassing US$18,000 for the first time in its history.

At the same time, we have to admit the Bitcoin price is in a very healthy place right now. For those who bought prior to this year’s rally, the year 2017 has delivered everything one could hope for and so much more. There are even people who sold their houses and everything else for Bitcoin in the hope of striking it rich. While that may have seemed idiotic at the time, the decision is paying off as we speak. It’s not something we would recommend anyone doing, though.

Unfortunately, all good runs will eventually come to an end. It appears this week’s Bitcoin run has simply run out of steam, as maintaining a price of around US$15,000 has been a struggle. No one expected to be talking about such price levels in 2017, yet the cryptocurrency markets have an interesting way of working themselves out. It is not unlikely we will see the Bitcoin price drop even further in the coming weeks, though. Particularly with Bitcoin futures launching soon, things will get very interesting.

Thankfully, Bitcoin still has a massive trading volume, which will keep the train going for a while. In the past 24 hours, we saw nearly US$13 billion worth of BTC change hands across all tracked exchanges on CoinMarketCap. It seems Bitcoin’s volume simply keeps increasing on a regular basis, although this volume alone will not be sufficient to push the Bitcoin price to US$18,000 and higher right now. After all, there are still a lot of people who will try to take profits in the coming weeks.

BitMEX is the leading exchange when it comes to Bitcoin trading right now. This is very surprising, considering how Bitfinex has generally led the charge for the past several weeks. Even Bithumb’s volume has surpassed that of Bitfinex, which was only a matter of time. The top five markets ranked by trading volume are dominated by fiat currency pairs, which can only be considered a good thing. Unfortunately, there is not one single EUR-related market in the entire top 30, which further confirms Europe seemingly couldn’t care less about cryptocurrency right now.

Where the Bitcoin price goes from here is anybody’s guess. The year 2017 has been favorable for Bitcoin, but it is also evident the world’s leading cryptocurrency has a lot of technical issues which will need to be resolved. Every day, Bitcoin looks less like a currency or payment method and more like a store of value designed to be kept on exchanges to avoid fees and delays. That’s far from an ideal situation, to say the least.