ICO Sell-Off of ETH Likely Contributed to Price Crash
Ethereum has dipped below $300 for the first time since November 2017, losing over 60 percent of its market cap year-to-date, and tumbling 17 percent on August 13 alone. Sales of ETH by initial coin offering (ICO) projects is likely to have been a major factor contributing to the price crash.
According to data gathered by Santiment, a platform that compiles information on Ethereum-based projects, ICOs could have sold over 140,000 ETH in the past 30 days, amounting to over $35 million at USD/ETH prices on August 14.
Over 90 percent of projects have built their platform on top of Ethereum, opting to use the ERC20 standard for their tokens and protocol. As a result, investor demand for ETH soared, contributing to the token’s rise above $1,000 in February.
According to a Bloomberg article published on August 13, “concerns that the cryptocurrency bear market market will drag out” are compelling many startups to liquidate their ETH holdings for USD in order to continue funding their development, especially “projects that raised funds at the top of the market,” as their ETH holdings are most affected.
According to Santiment, Cobinhood was the largest seller, liquidating 25,670 ETH. Atonomi potentially sold up to 12,000 ETH, with up to 9,000 of that being sold on July 26 alone. Etheroll potentially liquidated 10,150 ETH, Envion potentially sold 9,840 ETH, and AppCoins potentially sold 8,420 ETH.
Other factors may have significantly contributed to ETH’s major price decline. Uncertainty about crypto regulation, such as the SEC’s announcement that the US regulator will delay a decision on whether they will approve five Bitcoin ETFs, may have played a role. High profile hacks and scams may also have contributed.