Altcoin Market Rout Accelerates as Bitcoin Clears $266

Altcoins have hit new lows across the board today as bitcoin broke the important $266 barrier. Litecoin broke $1.90 and is currently trading at $1.50 per coin. Peercoin cleared the $0.50 mark and is now quoted at $0.33. Even Namecoin, which was trading relatively stronger compared to other cryptocurrencies last week, fell precipitously.

Bitcoin Breaks Important $266 Level

Bitcoin cleared past the important $266 barrier today. Earlier forays below only got as low as $260 and $258. Today’s move lower translated into renewed losses as BTC/USD fell close to $40 dollars to $221 per coin before stabilizing somewhat. Buying one bitcoin will currently cost you $228 dollars.

BTCUSDH4-jan13

Today’s swing low at $221 may present some (very weak) support. Below here, the area near $205 per coin may also present some challenges to the bears. Above, BTC will need to climb back above the important $266 level to end the current downtrend.

BitStamp Restart Doesn’t Help

Even the successful restart of BitStamp didn’t help investor confidence in cryptocurrencies. The struggling exchange was offline since January 5th as they migrated to new equipment after an intrusion into their system allowed a hacker to transfer out about $5 million worth of bitcoins. In a classic ‘’buy the rumor sell the fact’’ traders continued with the selling after BitStamp got back online.

Namecoin Breaks $0.55

Namecoin broke the previous swing low at $0.55 last week. The cryptocurrency then proceeded to lose some more ground, falling below the half-parity level at $0.50 this week.

NMCUSDH4-jan13

Today’s swing low at $0.45 may act as support but keep in mind that the level hasn’t been tested yet so it may prove to be weak. This is closely followed by another potential but untested support at $0.40. Lower still, it’s hard to find new levels to target, it’s been a while since NMC has traded this low. Going back to 2013 I see some support near $0.31 but given how far we are currently from that figure (over 30 percent) Namecoin may find other support in the meantime. To end the current downtrend, NMC/USD will need to climb back above $0.60 per coin. But even more important for Namecoin may be bitcoin’s $266 level. If BTC/USD manages to regain a foothold above $266, it may help altcoins across the board.

Petar Kotevski

Petar is a forex trader and writer with 9 years of experience in financial markets. He has been following bitcoin since 2010. A year ago, as the BTC market matured, he started getting more involved by writing articles on bitcoin and other alternative currencies.

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