Last week's gains in the cryptocurrency space proved to be short-lived, much to the chagrin of digital currency enthusiasts around the world. Indeed, the total market cap of the cryptocurrency industry fell by about 6% this week, dropping to $249 billion. This places the size of the digital currency market relatively equal to the position it was in early in April of this year.

BTC, ETH, XRP Down

Several of the top digital currencies, including bitcoin, ethereum, and ripple, have all posted losses this week. Hovering just above $6,200, bitcoin seems precipitously close to the $6,000 threshold that it has toyed with multiple times already this year. As of this writing, the top 10 digital currencies by market cap have all declined over the past week, although stellar and cardano have each worked to negate those losses with sharp increases in the past 24 hours.

Big Moves Among Major Players

This week, two major players in the digital currency space announced new hires in prominent positions. First, the Winklevoss-owned Gemini digital currency exchange revealed that they had hired former Chief Information Officer for the New York Stock Exchange Robert Cornish to serve as the exchange's first Chief Technology Officer. Later in the week, ripple revealed that it had hired Kahina Van Dyke to be Senior Vice-President in Business and Corporate Development. Van Dyke joins the digital currency developer after high-level positions at Facebook (FB), Citibank, and others, according to Coin Central.

Fraud Task Force Launched

The Trump administration launched a new task force by executive order this week. The Task Force on Market Integrity and Consumer Fraud, drawn from the Department of Justice, will focus on cyber and cryptocurrency fraud alongside other problems facing consumers. The purview of the course includes providing "guidance for the investigation and prosecution of cases involving fraud on the government, the financial markets, and consumers, including cyber-fraud and other fraud targeting the elderly, service members and veterans, and other members of the public." Money laundering, long seen as closely linked with the cryptocurrency space, is another target for the new task force as well.

Investing in cryptocurrencies and Initial Coin Offerings ("ICOs") is highly risky and speculative, and this article is not a recommendation by Investopedia or the writer to invest in cryptocurrencies or ICOs. Since each individual's situation is unique, a qualified professional should always be consulted before making any financial decisions. Investopedia makes no representations or warranties as to the accuracy or timeliness of the information contained herein. As of the date this article was written, the author owns bitcoin and ripple.

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