If we start thinking about the reasons for the recent market slump, it becomes obvious that the lower the market’s capitalization, the more it will be subject to external manipulation. This is its weakness. By trying to be decentralized and independent, the market of cryptocurrencies is captured by those who can swing the market in any direction and with any amplitude without any obstacles existing on Wall Street in the form of market makers and exchange rules.
There is no "inherent value" in cryptocurrencies, as their value is generated by the relations of supply and demand on the market. If there is no demand, then someone can place a mass order for sales and the price of any cryptocurrency can tumble to zero. Who is currently running the market? Those who are not even selling the cryptocurrencies themselves, but digital wallets with large amounts of cryptos in them. While the world is wondering who Satoshi Nakamoto is, the owners of his fortune in Bitcoins may be different investors in different time intervals, who are able to buy rights of possession, and this is a secret trade in cryptos that can influence the market.
The turnovers on crypto exchanges have fallen sharply. In the last two months, the average daily volume of purchase and sale transactions has decreased from $2.51 to $1.38 billion (down 45%) on Binance. On OKEx, the drop in this indicator was 31% from $2.45 to $1.68 billion. The drop reached 48% from $1.71 billion to $887 million on Huobi. Of the top ten, the biggest decline is observed on Upbit from $2.09 billion to $230 million, a drop of 89%. The KuCoin crypto exchange, which occupies the 10th place in terms of trade turnover, has experienced a twofold drop in trading volumes and has decreased from $66 to $34 million.
Trading platforms like Binance and Huobi are trying to maximize the listing of coins, inventing airdrops for them, and reducing commissions, but volumes are still falling. And the drop is even higher than what the official figures show. The founder of the Binance crypto exchange Changpeng Zhao spoke about the inflation of turnover among his colleagues on the market. A very limited number of platforms passed the audit process as Kraken and Bitstamp did.
How can the drop in the turnover on crypto exchanges be explained? It is unlikely that "people have run out of money.” Actually, there is an active secondary trade, and it can be formed not only by old-school futures, but also by crypto depositary receipts, as cryptocurrencies do not move anywhere from digital wallets, but contracts for their sale and purchase may be concluded. That is, the market is developing actively outside the organized platforms. Many transactions cannot be traced, as they are increasingly being carried out on decentralized platforms in an anonymous mode with the use of coin mixers, which hide information about the participants in cryptocurrency sales transactions.
The crypto world generates its own crypto offshores, and anonymous altcoin networks have become a tool for organizing hidden transactions, such as the Decred (DCR) crypto coin platform, which functions as a decentralized platform where one can buy and sell various crypto coins. Zcoin's cooperation with the Midas Protocol is also moving in the same direction.
The actions of the regulators are also pushing coins into the shadows. Speaking at the Yahoo Finance All Markets Summit, which was held on June 14th in San Francisco, the representative of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), Brian Quintenz, explained that trade in cryptocurrencies in the US falls under the "Commodity Exchange Act.” In accordance with it, any sales of cryptocurrencies look like futures trading, so the seller of such a contract must apply to the CFTC in order to be registered as a broker.
At the same time, he stressed that if the transfer of the cryptocurrency is carried out within 28 days, then such a transaction will not be considered a futures contract and will not require the registration of the seller. But if this rule works with most assets, then, as Brian Quintenz made it clear, everything is ambiguous, even if it seems that the transfer of the cryptocurrency is carried out on the same day as the conclusion of the purchase and sale transaction. Here, the criterion comes into force: even if, formally, the currency has moved from the wallet of the seller to the wallet of the buyer, the CFTC must make sure that the buyer can now freely dispose of the received assets.
Since the situation of "freezing" accounts on crypto exchanges and the problems with "native" cryptocurrency networks is not a rarity, then, based on the logic of the CFTC, not all cryptocurrencies become the property of the buyer just because they appeared in their digital wallets. In addition, there is the liquidity issue. If the asset is not traded for some reason on official crypto exchange platforms that are ready to recognize the CFTC, then it is not available to the buyer. And if this status lasts for 28 days or more, then the seller of the transferred cryptocurrency automatically becomes a futures broker in need of registration from the point of view of the CFTC.
In addition to this point, it is worth paying attention to the fact that the US authorities are formally working on legalizing cryptocurrency trade, de facto prohibiting anonymous transactions conducted from unverified exchange user accounts. This, incidentally, does not eliminate the possibility of trading anonymous altcoins, as it is essential for the seller to be "visible" to the US authorities. As for the buyer, then there is no such requirement on the part of the regulator unless he is present on an organized crypto exchange platform. Thus, firstly, the CFTC forces frightened holders of cryptocurrencies to get rid of their assets, and this affects the market, causing a drop in the value of the currency. And secondly, the CFTC deliberately pushes the market into the shadows on the buyer's side, as it makes the terms more convenient for those who buy cryptocurrencies on the secondary market. This logic of the CFTC is opportunistic and aims at changing the key players in the "shadow market,” and so that most of the hodlers, who are unable to withstand the organized decline on the market, get rid of their cryptos by selling them to institutional players or large multinational banks and investment funds, which are already working with cryptocurrencies.