Days after the launch of Zcash, the cryptocurrency markets are still attempting to value the newly released digital currency (ZEC).
While 1 ZEC is trading at roughly twice the price of bitcoin (1 ZEC was worth 1.91 BTC, or $1,388, at press time), this means movements have calmed since tumultuous early trading sessions.
But with limited supply and high demand still propping up prices, digital currency traders largely say Zcash has a long way to go before it becomes less of a speculative investment.
Petar Zivkovkski, director of operations for leveraged bitcoin trading platform Whaleclub, described speculation as still "rampant" in the Zcash market.
As evidence, the price of Zcash declined 25% for the day's trading, a figure that was down 200% since it traded at a high last week of 3,299 BTC/1 ZEC (nearly $2m). (Zcash block explorer Zchain suggests just under 3,000 ZEC are currently in circulation).
Trying to make sense of a market with these parameters has become a challenge, traders noted.
Digital currency analyst Kevin Zhou told CoinDesk:
"ZEC is still pure speculation at this point."
Given the massive highs observed in the markets, it may be an understatement to say that Zcash prices have calmed. The currency pair’s fluctuations have become far less severe since its launch, with ZEC/BTC fluctuating between 0.81 BTC and 2.82 BTC on 1st November.
Going forward, we may be observing real-time price discovery as supply and demand help Zcash find equilibrium.
It remains notable that the price of Zcash is now above bitcoin's, which puts the digital currency in rare company.
Yet, Zivkovski said this would likely only create new gains which would then be deposited back into bitcoin, which he believes has a stronger long-term value proposition.
"Early miners and holders are keen to distribute (sell) their Zcash in exchange for bitcoin to capitalize on the high prices," he said.
In the short term, this could help stabilize Zcash's price by increasing supply. Further, the hype has also died down a bit from the launch day, as skeptics begin to take a more critical eye to the technology, the first live implementation of the privacy-focused zerocash protocol.
What Zcash's price movements will look like in the short-term is anyone’s guess, but it's also uncertain in the long-term.
Zivkovksi spoke to the progress made by the Zcash team, stating that they have made "great strides in cryptocurrency research". He was not alone in emphasizing the potential of the currency’s underlying technology, as ARK Invest's Chris Burniske noted Zcash's selective privacy.
The market is also likely to weigh Zcash against Monero, a cryptocurrency project that has also prided itself on privacy.
But in spite of Zcash's claims to provide anonymity, Zivkovkski emphasized that the currency’s staying power is "far from proven".
Thus far, there is no major use for Zcash, he noted.
Disclosure: CoinDesk is a subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which has an ownership stake in Zcash.
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