Wednesday, September 19, 2018

© Reuters.  © Reuters. – Bitcoin prices rallied close to all-time highs on Tuesday as investors shrugged off news that Russia will block access to websites of exchanges that offer cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin.

On the U.S.-based Bitfinex exchange, bitcoin rose to $4884.2, up $101.9, or 2.13%. Bitcoin is just shy of its recent peak of $4,969 with a market cap of about $81 billion.

“We cannot stand apart. We cannot give direct and easy access to such dubious instruments for retail (investors)”, First Deputy Governor Sergei Shvetsov said on Tuesday.

Segei’s comments caused a flash crash in Bitcoin as the digital currency fell more than $600 in just a few minutes. However, not every exchange showed the flash-crash, as Bitcoin resumed its rally to session highs.

The sharp rally in Bitcoin comes a month after China clamped down on bitcoin related activity, ordering domestic bitcoin exchanges to cease operations.

In other cryptocurrency news, Bitcoin Cash rose 0.90%, to $315.30, while Ethereum, the second largest cryptocurrencies by market cap, added 1.61% to $302.34.

Investors are closely monitoring ethereum ahead of the upcoming Byzantium hard fork – the first iteration of the long-awaited Metropolis upgrade – expected October 16.

The market cap of both Bitcoin Cash and Ethereum is well below that of Bitcoin at $5.3 billion and $28.81 billion, respectively.

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