Bitcoin on track for 10th consecutive session below $4,000


Cryptocurrency prices begin Friday in mixed fashion with bitcoin, the best-known digital currency, marginally lower.

In early trading, one bitcoin














BTCUSD, -0.85%












 was fetching $3,822.22, down 0.5% since 5 p.m. Eastern Time on the Kraken crypto exchange. If the loss is maintained, the coin is on track to log its 10th consecutive session below the $4,000 mark.

Read: From scary stock markets to families behaving badly, the most-read articles on MarketWatch in 2018

What are analysts saying

Despite prices hanging near multimonth lows, Nigel Green, founder and CEO of U.K. consulting firm deVere group, said the landscape for digital assets is set for an upswing in 2019, buoyed by growing interest from the institutional sector.

“The bearish sentiment of the last quarter of 2018 is now, I believe, behind us,” wrote Green. “We can expect the current upswing to continue, albeit with peaks and troughs as in any financial market. In 2019, the cryptocurrency market is set to radically evolve. We can expect considerable expansion of the sector largely due to inflows of institutional investors.”

Green predicts that the endowments of prestigious universities will become significant investors in cryptocurrencies in 2019.

Read: Nearly 4 in 5 individual investors are still bullish on bitcoin

What are altcoins and futures doing

Altcoins — the colloquial term for coins other than bitcoin — are off to mixed start Friday. Ether,














ETHUSD, +0.39%












 the second-largest digital currency, had gained 2% to $150.78, Litecoin














LTCUSD, -0.06%












was up 0.4% to $31.53, XRP,














XRPUSD, -1.15%












had lost 0.9% to 35 cents, and Bitcoin Cash














BCHUSD, -3.35%












was down 2.5% at $157.30.

Bitcoin futures are trading lower on Friday. The Cboe Global Markets February contract














XBTG9, -0.73%












was down 0.5% at $3,725, and the CME Group February contract














BTCG9, -0.80%












was lower by 0.7% to $3,720.

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