Bitcoin and Ethereum, the two biggest cryptocurrencies in the world, faced a major blow today, as prices continued to plummet, with the global crypto marketing even plunging below the $1trillion (£878billion) mark. In just the past 24 hours, Bitcoin, the leading currency on the market, fell by over 7.8 percent, falling below the $19,000 (£16690) mark. Meanwhile, Ether, which is the coin linked to the Ethereum blockchain, and is currently the second largest cryptocurrency, plummeted by a staggering 10 percent, reaching a two-month low at $1,370 (£1146).
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These two major drops have plunged the global cryptocurrency market into freefall, dropping below the $1trillion mark, and reaching $974billion (£865billion) in the last 24 hours, according to CoinGecko.
In June, Ether enjoyed a massive surge as a result of excitement around an upgrade of the Ethereum blockchain, now that the revamp of the technology is completed, prices have been falling.
Meanwhile, investors are bracing themselves for the possibility of a major wave of monetary tightening policies, particularly in the US, as the Federal Reserve is expected to issue a massive interest rate hike to fight the cost of living crisis.
The world’s second-biggest cryptocurrency is getting a revamp that should increase the speed of transactions on the Ethereum blockchain and lower their cost. The new update promises to lead Ethereum away from the energy-intensive ‘proof of work’ mechanism for validating transactions and to the more environmentally friendly ‘proof of stake’.
Ethereum’s revamp makes it vastly more energy efficient and paves the way for it to scale up and become quicker, the network’s developers have said. The move to a so-called proof-of-stake approach from proof-of-work was years in the making and seems to have gone smoothly, though hiccups remain possible.
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