Ethereum has fallen below $200 again after losing 6.39 percent of its value in the last 24 hours. ETH now sits at just $184.53, rapidly closing in on its lowest value in over three months.
Although the bulk of the cryptocurrency market is in the red, Ethereum is performing worse than most, currently down more than any other top-five cryptocurrency. Despite this, according to crypto analytics company IntoTheBlock, the number of long-term holders has increased in the last month, up five percent in the last 30 days. But its slim pickings.
Ethereum's value has weakened against Bitcoin over the last three months, collapsing from 0.0336 BTC to just 0.0184 BTC today—a loss of more than 45 percent. It appears that as the market turned down, altcoin investors began turning to Bitcoin, or left the market completely.
The bearish price action comes as Etheruem prepares for the first part of its upcoming network upgrade, termed "Instanbul." The initial changes will improve the efficiency of the Ethereum blockchain, while laying the groundwork for further upgrades. Down the line, Istanbul will also include a change to the mining algorithm known as ProgPow, which is expected to make ether mining more balanced, and hence improve miner turnout—but it's not without controversy .
The upgrade is also the first step towards Ethereum 2.0, the project's ambitious plans to become more scalable on the base layer, without needing layer two scaling solutions. Which is probably for the best; Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin tweeted earlier today that layer two solutions are much harder to build than it was initially thought. So, Ethereum 2.0 can't come quickly enough.