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Litecoin prices today were flat despite the news Japanese cryptocurrency exchange BitFlyer recently obtained approval to build its presence in Europe.
The fourteenth-largest global exchange represents about 80% of all Bitcoin trading in Japan. Though it currently only allows the trading of Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Bitcoin Cash, Financial Times recently noted that it could expand into other cryptocurrencies, like Litecoin, in the near future.
The exchange will also only offer trading tied to the euro.
Meanwhile, the price of Bitcoin added nearly 1.5% despite a highly bearish statement from Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz.
In an interview with Bloomberg in Davos, Stiglitz called on governments to regulate Bitcoin out of existence after stating that he has yet to find a use for cryptocurrencies.
Stiglitz argued that Bitcoin's core use has been to "circumvent tax authorities and regulation."
The economist suggested that Bitcoin's rise is also contributing to greater economic inequality around the globe.
"We have a good medium of exchange called the dollar. We can trade in that. Why do people want Bitcoin? For secrecy," he said.
Below is a recap of the top cryptocurrency prices at 3:15 p.m. EST.
- Bitcoin: $11,314.10, +1.47%
- Ethereum: $1,041.00, +4.16%
- Ripple: $1.36, -0.60%
- Bitcoin Cash: $1,648.73, -0.59%
- Cardano: $0.63, +9.33%
Now that we know all of today's price movements, here's what has been moving these cryptocurrencies…
Cryptocurrency Markets Today
On Wednesday, the market capitalization of the global cryptocurrency sector jumped to $550.6 billion. Bitcoin comprised 34.6% of the total crypto market.
Top performers out of the top 50 cryptocurrencies by market capitalization included Steem (up 30.29%), Hshare (up 24.73%), BitShares (up 22.30%), Populous (up 16.33%), Stellar (up 14.02%), Walton (up 13.49%), OmiseGo (up 12.79%), NEO (up 11.18%), Cardano (up 9.33%), and Komodo (up 7.45).
The worst performers from the top 50 largest cryptocurrencies by market capitalization included PIVX (down -11.395), RaiBlocks (down -7.18%), IOTA (down -6.16%), KuCoin Shares (down -5.56%), VeChain (down -1.73%), Verge (down -1.54%), Dash (down -1.27%), and Siacoin (down -1.27%).
Bitcoin Prices to $50,000?
The price of Bitcoin hit $11,314.10 on Wednesday, pushing its market capitalization just below $190 billion. The price ticked higher despite recent statements by Goldman Sachs Group (NYSE: GS) that Bitcoin is sitting in a larger bubble than Dutch "Tulip Mania."
The investment bank warned its clients about publicly traded companies that are "pivoting" to blockchain technology.
Despite the bearish tone, CEO Lloyd Blankfein still has to deny rumors that his firm was considering a plan to launch a Bitcoin trading desk.
"What we said was we were opening – we're clearing futures in bitcoins for some of our futures clients. We'd clear them," he said, according to a transcript of a CNBC interview.
"We're a prime broker and so if our clients are going to do it, we're going to do it. A principle Bitcoin business, where we're going long and short, market making, so far we're not."
Still, the bulls remain out in force.
Riot Blockchain Inc. (Nasdaq: RIOT) CEO John O'Rourke offered a very aggressive price projection for 2018 and beyond.
"I believe we'll be heading north of $50,000 market price within the next 12 to 18 months," he said.
Stellar Pops on Stripe Pivot
Irish online payment-processing firm Stripe announced yesterday that it will no longer accept Bitcoin payments starting April 23.
The firm blamed slow transaction times and higher transaction fees. This ends a four-year relationship between Bitcoin and Stripe, which was the first major payment processor to accept Bitcoin back in 2014.
So will Stellar replace Bitcoin?
Speculators believe so, and they've pegged their hopes on it.
The price of Stellar climbed 14% after Stripe teased the possibility that it will add support for XLM soon.
Stripe had provided seed funding to Stellar.
"We may add support for Stellar if substantive use continues to grow," Stripe's Tom Karlo said.
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About the Author
Garrett Baldwin is a globally recognized research economist, financial writer, and consultant with degrees from Northwestern, Johns Hopkins, Purdue, and Indiana University. He is a seasoned financial and political risk analyst, with a focus on stocks, hedge funds, private equity, blockchain, and housing policy. He has conducted risk assessment projects for clients in 27 countries, and consulted on policy and financial operations for some of the nation's largest financial institutions, including a $1.5 trillion credit fund, a $43 billion credit and auto loan giant, as well as two of the largest Wall Street banks by assets under management.
Garrett joined Money Map Press as an economist and researcher in 2011, specializing in alternative strategies with an emphasis on fundamental and technical analysis.