By Gaurav S. Iyer, IFC Published : February 12, 2018
Ethereum News Update
Something has changed in cryptocurrency markets.
In less than a week, investors have gone from agonizing over pending regulations to not caring about big announcements.
For example, there was zero reaction to International Monetary Fund (IMF) Chairperson Christine Lagarde saying that regulatory action on cryptocurrencies is “inevitable.” (Source: “IMF chief: Cryptocurrency regulation is ‘inevitable’,” CNN, February 11, 2018.)
“We are actively engaging in anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism. And that reinforces our determination to work on those two directions.”
Investors did not panic. In fact, cryptocurrency markets were upbeat after her comments went public, which is shocking given recent history.
After all, last month’s ETH price crash began when South Korea’s Justice minister promised his country would ban cryptocurrencies (which it did not, by the way). His wayward comments started a massive sell-off that was only stopped when two U.S. regulators gave testimony in support of cryptocurrencies.
How can investors have no reaction to the IMF chief promising more regulation?
Ethereum Price Chart
The IMF is worldwide. It is far more likely to influence global regulations than South Korea, meaning it could consequentially wreak more havoc on the market. The logic doesn’t follow.
I have two theories that explain this phenomenon:
- Investors don’t think the IMF will hurt Ethereum. If you look at most comments made by regulators, they seem to take issue with Bitcoin’s currency ambitions, not Ethereum’s blockchain applications. In fact, “blockchain, not Bitcoin” is essentially the mantra for regulators who want appear both prudent and tech-friendly.
- Or investors think it’s all just noise. Have you ever heard a sound for so long that it slips into the background? Something similar happens with news. Oversaturation of a subject makes it less urgent, less relevant, and certainly less shocking. Investors get numb. It’s possible that today’s tepid reaction to Ms. Lagarde’s comments simply reflects a giant shrug from the market, as in: “Whatever, we’ve seen this movie before.”
Most likely, there’s a combination of the two factors at work. We don’t yet know how long this phenomenon will last, but we are optimistic that the market exorcised most of its pessimism in January. As a result, we maintain our Ethereum price forecast of $1,500 by the end of Q2.