For a second straight week, some of the largest and most popular digital currencies in the world saw declines overall, with nearly all of the top 20 coins and tokens dipping Friday afternoon. Bitcoin, which just recently flirted with $8,500, dropped below $7,000, startling many investors in the process. As of this writing, BTC is hovering just above $6,400. Some of that decline was likely the result of news out of the SEC both last week and this week which signaled trouble with the approval process for the first bitcoin ETF.

SEC Pushes Back VanEck Decision

August 10th has been a highly anticipated day for many bitcoin enthusiasts, as it was tentatively the date that the SEC planned to reveal its decision on the petition for a bitcoin-linked ETF by VanEck and SolidX. In spite of recent rejections of bitcoin ETFs, including a second failed attempt by the Winklevoss brothers last week, many analysts have seen VanEck's fund as uniquely likely to meet SEC approval. Earlier today, though, the SEC revealed that it was pushing back the decision. While this is not necessarily bad news for the long-term prospects of the ETF, it nonetheless has quashed some recent enthusiasm.

Yale Study Reveals Importance of Momentum

A new study from Yale University sheds more light on the erratic and unusual price movements of bitcoin. Although much of the initial hype among the mainstream investment world has settled, the world's largest digital coin by market cap is still prone to massive volatility. The study, which tracked 7 years' worth of price movements, suggests that momentum and investor perception are key influencers on the price of BTC. If the price of the currency goes up or down by a significant margin in one week, that movement in and of itself makes it more likely to continue in the same direction the next week. In light of this, last week's decline in BTC may have also contributed to this week's movement downward.

NYSE Owner Launches Platform

Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), the owner of the New York Stock Exchange, announced the launch of a new cryptocurrency platform called Bakkt. According to a press release, Bakkt is “working to create an integrated platform that enables consumers and institutions to buy, sell, store and spend digital assets on a seamless global network.”

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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