For some, the rise of crypto fever is giving way to crypto paranoia. As speculators discover a treasure trove of illiquid assets denominated in digital currencies, concerns about losing out on big gains have emerged, and more than one pseudonymous-speculator tweeted early in the crypto craze that an asset’s liquidity could count as more worth than its value. In the process, there have been some very high-profile flameouts. And in the middle of all this comes news of a new cryptocurrency, called Tilikum, which fizzled for now after news of its disastrous testing with a 19-year-old wrestler created far too much buzz in the media for a product no one had seen. But money keeps changing hands on these currencies.
In the middle of all this we’ve kept updating a series of charts — one showing bitcoin price on the left, litecoin price on the right, and Ethereum price on the top left — that are updated every half hour using the various standard definitions. (To learn more about this series, click here.)
Prices fluctuate too quickly for us to track them all. So the value of bitcoin that we track on the chart is calculated as $6,811 at press time (the value hasn’t been updated since Oct. 16). So if you see a chart that looks a little odd, you might want to take a closer look.
For simplicity, however, we focused on the current world standard for measuring bitcoin — Ether — and litecoin. To contrast their current value with their former value, we created a cartoon comparing them with the dollar sign on the left and top left with a U.S. dollar coin on the right.
You’ll notice that the dollar amounts are very different. The value of bitcoin stands at more than $41,000, but only a fraction of a cent of a dollar — or Ether, which is currently worth $288 — actually changes hands as payments.
The slower paths of the various prices indicate investors have more money to send out than they have to be paid back. But the slow pace has also meant that each week has a different percentage change in prices on each of these currencies. For simplicity, we’ve treated this as the average value from each half hour of each day, going back to mid-September. (At press time, litecoin is up 1.3 percent from last week, and bitcoins have risen 1.3 percent.)
The sluggish movement of cryptocurrencies means we have to constantly keep our eye on the news. Once again, this week, a lot of the chatter focused on how bitcoin would fare with a new coin: Bitcoin Cash, which has its own algorithm and technology, is gaining more and more attention. Its creator, Nergis Terniakos, has denied any plans to revive the old bitcoin because of its chaotic history, but whether that ruling will hold for years is anyone’s guess.
On the current charts we show you here, we haven’t updated the value of bitcoin or litecoin for a few days because markets are closed for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. The time needed to update each of the charts could increase in coming weeks.
We’ll let you know if anything changes.