On January 7th of this year, the total market value of all cryptocurrencies listed on coinmarketcap.com reached 835 billion USD. By the time April fools day arrived, the market cap had sunk to 244 billion USD. Whether that drop can be regarded as the crypto ‘bubble bursting’ is open to debate, however when compared with the housing market/subprime lending bubble or the gold standard commodities bubble it does look somewhat bursty in nature to me.
Burst or no burst, the drop in value represents a major correction, whilst there have been many theories as to why the market has dropped so dramatically; Lunar New Year, massive influx of new and flaky market participants, some of the early adopter ‘whales’ consolidating gains into fiat as their portfolios suddenly became worth a LOT of money and various others. In truth, it is likely a compound of all of these and more, however the most plausible cause of widespread negative sentiment that I have read or heard about is that of Tokyo Whale. The Tokyo Whale is the trustee of the defunct Mt Gox exchange which was hacked and lost 850,000 bitcoins in 2014. The company subsequently recovered 200,000 bitcoins and the trustee is now selling them to repay what the company owes to it’s former customers. It’s plausible, in my view, that this could create enough negativity to drive prices a long way down.
What does all this mean for the employment market in DLT and cryptocurrency trading in London? There is more demand than ever for people to join new DLT projects or the ever-growing presence of cryptocurrency exchanges. Interest in ICO’s continues to grow, earlier this year Telegram raised $1.7 billion pre-ICO which smashed previous records, there is significant demand for developers to work on distributed ledger projects as well as for blockchain consulting businesses now. Plenty of technical problems remain unsolved at present in this emerging industry sector, it is therefore still attracting some of the best brains in technology. Platforms are being built using a wide array of technologies and languages so there’s something for everyone!
Some further reading on some of what I have talked about is provided below.