Ether prices have fallen to their lowest point this year, extending the losses they suffered earlier in 2018.
The world’s second-largest digital currency by market value fell to as little as $185.09, according to CoinMarketCap.
At this price, ether was down close to 90% from its all-time high of more than $1,400 reached in January, additional CoinMarketCap figures show.
[Ed note: Investing in cryptocoins or tokens is highly speculative and the market is largely unregulated. Anyone considering it should be prepared to lose their entire investment.]
This alternative protocol asset or “altcoin” enjoyed very robust gains in 2017 and the start of 2018, pushed higher as the broader digital currency markets surged in value.
Amid this robust bull market, ether climbed more than 16,000% between the beginning of 2017 and its all-time high.
Role of ICOs
Some analysts pointed to the rising prevalence of initial coin offerings (ICOs) as a major factor provoking these sharp increases, as many of these sales involved exchanging ether for digital tokens.
While the market for ICOs was at one point very hot, with many aspiring entrepreneurs using this approach in an effort to raise funds, the environment has changed.
Many of these token sales have failed, with GreySpark Partners research reported on by CoinDesk indicating that close to half of all ICOs that took place in 2017 and 2018 did not succeed in raising any money.
While ether prices were bolstered by this ICO activity, they have been caught in a sharp, downward trend since reaching a record high in January.
The cryptocurrency could easily continue to lose value, according to some analysts.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if it trades down to double digits,” said Scott Weatherill, chief risk manager of B2C2 Japan.
“I think we are still in the phase of deleveraging from the ICO bubble,” he stated.
“It’s very hard to judge whether most of the ETH raised via ICO has been sold/hedged post raise yet but I continue to hear horror stories around projects going broke because they didn’t hedge anything,” said Weatherill.