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Bitcoin, Ethereum and other major currencies are off to a disastrous start in 2022.



The new year has so far brought nothing but disappointment for cryptocurrency investors.

Only one of the top 20 cryptocurrencies by market capitalization has seen its price rise in the past seven days. That honor goes to Chainlink, which is up 20%, according to Coingecko. All other major currencies recorded double-digit percentage losses in the new year.

The market leader, Bitcoin, actually had one of the smallest declines of the week, comparatively speaking. It fell 13% in 7 days, trading around $41,000. Despite the drop, the Bitcoin network set a new record last Sunday, when its hashrate reached an all-time high of 203.5 exahashes per second (EH/s), before falling again a few days later.

Bitcoin’s brief new hashrate record marked a 200% increase in power since July last year, when a state crackdown on mining in China sent the network’s hashrate plummeting.

Many Chinese miners moved to Kazakhstan and the network recovered, more powerful than ever, but civil unrest in Kazakhstan earlier this week caused authorities to shut down Internet services across the country, bringing the network hashrate back to around the 172 EH/s.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission delayed the announcement of a verdict on the approval or rejection of New York Digital Investment Group’s application to create a bitcoin cash ETF. A new date has been set for March 16 this year. NYDIG’s application joins Bitwise and Grayscale on the SEC’s bench.

Bitcoin took another step forward this week. On Wednesday, the market dominance of the world’s number one cryptocurrency had fallen to 37.28%. The new figure marks the lowest level of market dominance by bitcoin since 2018.

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Also on Wednesday, the U.S. Federal Reserve indicated that it may delay its decision to raise interest rates until mid-March and stop printing currency. Bitcoin lost 6% of its value and the cryptocurrency’s global market capitalization fell 6% in the 24 hours following the news. Stock prices also fell by more than 3%.

Ethereum and altcoins fared a little better.

While Chainlink is on the rise.Other altcoins are in the red this week. Ethereum is down 19% from last week and trades at $3,030, although NFT sales are soaring to start the new year.

On Wednesday, a team of analysts at investment bank JP Morgan said Ethereum could face competitive challenges from rival blockchains such as Avalanche, Solana and Terra in the near future, as these blockchains all offer a more scalable service and lower gas rates than Ethereum.

A report by cryptocurrency investment firm Electric Capital concluded that Polkadot, Avalanche, Solana and Terra had faster initial growth than Ethereum when it was at a comparable stage of its journey. It should be added that Ethereum has developed in a very different market environment than its rivals.

Solana, Avalanche and Terra are among the week’s biggest losers, each losing more than 20% of their price in seven days. Solana has lost 23% in a week and currently trades at $134.50. Avalanche and LUNA are down 29% to $80.27 and $63.69, respectively.

It’s been a lousy start to 2022 for cryptocurrencies, but enthusiasm for what’s to come has not waned.

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