After a torrid start to the week, digital currencies were showing signs of a revival, with most major coins holding on to yesterday’s gains in Thursday trading.
After rising as much as 6% Wednesday, bitcoin, BTCUSD, +0.50% the worlds largest digital currency, was little changed Thursday, last trading at $6,94.63, up 0.3% since Wednesday 5 p.m. Eastern Time on the Kraken crypto exchange. The broad-based rally pushed the total value of all cryptocurrencies to $209 million, $20 billion off Monday’s low, according to data from CoinMarketCap.
After a frantic 48 hours that saw a drastic selloff then reversal in the price of digital currencies, it seems investors have, for the most part, hit the sidelines with volumes light. With just over two hours left in trading on the CME Group Inc. exchange, 3,752 August bitcoin futures contracts had changed hands, compared with Wednesday’s total of 7,222.
Read: Cryptocurrencies are heading ‘closer to zero,’ says former PayPal CEO
Ethereum upgrade nearing
Vitalik Buterin, the co-founder of the ethereum network, gave an update on the pending upgrade of the network late Wednesday via Twitter. In a long series of tweets, the Russian-born programmer said the Casper protocol upgrade that aims to solve the scaling issue with the blockchain is nearing.
Scaling is the ability to process a significant number of transactions more quickly. Currently, the ethereum network can process anywhere between three and seven transactions per second, which is slightly more than bitcoin, but well below the thousands processed by credit card companies like Visa Inc. V, +1.00% and Mastercard Inc. MA, +1.74%
Read: Are cash-strapped ICOs behind Ether’s underperformance?
Altcoins continue rally
Altcoins, or coins other than bitcoin, are trading higher Thursday. Ether ETHUSD, +1.21% which has been battered of late, is looking to log back-to-back winning sessions, trading 0.9% higher at $290.09, Bitcoin Cash BCHUSD, +2.47% is up 2% at $525.20, Litecoin LTCUSD, +0.57% has added 0.2% to $56.04 and Ripple’s XRP XRPUSD, +4.62% is trading at 30 cents, up 2.6%.
With the August contract expired the Cboe Global Markets Inc.’s September contract XBTU8, +0.71% is the most active, trading up 0.3% at $6,375 while the CME Group Inc August contract BTCQ8, +0.31% is trading 0.2% higher at $6,390.
Read: A team at Northwestern think they have solved one of bitcoin’s biggest problems
Providing critical information for the U.S. trading day. Subscribe to MarketWatch’s free Need to Know newsletter. Sign up here.