The stock market may have tumbled this week, but cryptocurrencies are enjoying a generalized comeback. All of the 10 largest currencies by market capitalization are up since early in the week, with third-ranked Ripple’s XRP token surging 20% just since late Thursday to lead the pack, according to Coinmarketcap.com. It was trading at 92 cents at mid-morning Friday.
Bitcoin, far and away the most valuable crypto, started to regain lost ground this week. It’s up modestly since Thursday but has risen 39% since its low Monday night at just over $6,000. It was trading over $8,300 at mid-morning Friday. That’s nowhere near the coin’s all-time high near $20,000, reached Dec. 17, but at any rate represents a sharp reversal of the downward slide Bitcoin had traced since then.
Fourth-ranked Bitcoin Cash, an offshoot that emerged Aug. 1 after a hard fork in Bitcoin’s underlying code, was trading at just shy of $1,300 Friday morning, up from $1,031 a day earlier and from under $800 as recently as Tuesday. Still, the currency is way off from the $4,000-plus high it reached in December.
Are cryptocurrencies drawing cash from nervous equity-market investors? There may be some of that going on in the wake of two plunges of more than 1,000 points this week in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, but some observers note that, with all the volatility cryptos have demonstrated lately, they hardly represent a likely safe haven. It may be that investors are calming down after regulatory crackdowns in China and South Korea, where much cryptocurrency is mined, had sent global prices southward.