Bitcoin prices moved higher Wednesday, attempting to break out of what’s been a relatively subdued period for the world’s largest digital currency.
In late Wednesday trading, a single bitcoin BTCUSD, -0.39% was last changing hands at $6,432.61, up 1.8% since Tuesday at 5 p.m. Eastern Time on the Kraken exchange. Bitcoin has not traded outside the $6,100-to-$6,600 range since Sept. 6.
Kraken and Dash Core CEOs push back on AG report
Despite the muted price action, industry fallout from the Virtual Markets Integrity Report released by New York State Attorney General Barbara Underwood on Tuesday has escalated. In the report, the AG’s office, whose aim it says is to protect consumers, said that at least one firm, the Kraken crypto exchange, admits that “scams are rampant” in the industry.
Jesse Powell, the co-founder and CEO of Kraken, had chosen not to respond to questions posed by the AG’s office in April, arguing that his platform does not allow trading from New York and questioning the AG’s authority over his firm.
On Wednesday, however, he responded to the report’s Kraken inclusion. In a Tweet, the combative CEO compared New York to “that abusive, controlling ex you broke up with 3 years ago.”
Ryan Taylor, CEO of Dash Core, said the report was further evidence of a regulatory body getting involved where it shouldn’t. “This report is another example of New York’s [Office of Attorney General] overreaching its mandate by requiring businesses that operate outside of their jurisdiction to subject themselves to New York oversight,” wrote Taylor in an emailed comment.
“This further cements New York’s reputation as a state that is not friendly to cryptocurrency.”
Read: Battered bitcoin bulls are latching on to this seasonality chart
OTC demand remains
On the trading front, while bitcoin remains firmly in a bear market, institutional and large-scale investors still have an appetite to buy digital currencies at these levels, says one analyst. “On the OTC [over-the-counter] front, we are still seeing significant demand, many of it large orders, buying both bitcoin and ethereum at these levels,” said Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at Think Markets U.K. “However, on the retail front, they are more in panic mode.”
Aslam said all eyes remain on the 2018 low below $6,000, which could portend lower moves for the asset.
Read: Ethereum technology could slice bitcoin’s market cap in half, says tech analyst
Ripple continues to lead altcoins
Ripple’s XRP XRPUSD, -1.30% coin has added to gains from yesterday, trading up 4.9% to 33 cents. Hype is building around the potential rollout of the protocols xRapid product that proponents hope better facilitates cross-border transfers. Speaking on CNBC Monday, Sagar Sarbhai, who heads Ripple’s regulatory department said the product could go live “in the next month or so.”
Elsewhere, Ether ETHUSD, -0.58% is up 1.8% at $211.52, Bitcoin Cash BCHUSD, -1.03% was up 1.6% at $438.40 and Litecoin LTCUSD, -1.10% was higher by 1% at $54.64.
Bitcoin futures finished Wednesday in the green. The Cboe Global Markets Group Inc.’s September contract XBTU8, +1.86% finished the session up 1.9% at $6,424.57, and the CME Group Inc. September contract BTCU8, +1.75% added 1.6% Wednesday to close at $6,375.
Read: Bitcoin is flirting with a new low for the year after the SEC stopped trading on two funds
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