Bitcoin prices today were flat despite a significant development that could attract more millennials into the cryptocurrency investment space.
Mobile investing app developer Robinhood announced it would roll out Bitcoin and Ethereum trading in February.
The firm will begin with trading in just five states: California, Massachusetts, Montana, Missouri, and New Hampshire.
The firm said that it plans to provide free Bitcoin and Ethereum trading as a way to build its user base and brand.
In other Bitcoin news, traders are still watching a decision this week by Irish payment processor Stripe to end its handling of Bitcoin payments.
The company blamed price volatility, slow payment times, and expensive processing fees. Stripe has since announced that it may consider adding Stellar as an alternative.
Below is a recap of the top cryptocurrency prices at 1:00 p.m. EST.
- Bitcoin: $11,310.00, +0.44%
- Ethereum: $1,067.84, +2.99%
- Ripple: $1.32, -2.32%
- Bitcoin Cash: $1,650.98, +0.79
- Cardano: $0.63, +1.18%
Now that we know all of today’s price movements, here’s what has been moving these cryptocurrencies…
Cryptocurrency Markets Today
On Thursday, the market capitalization of the global cryptocurrency sector hit $554.5 billion.
Top performers out of the top 50 cryptocurrencies by market capitalization included Hshare (up 20.25%), Steem (up 19.64%), IOStoken (up 12.06%), Bitshares (up 8.73%), Dogecoin (up 8.65%), EOS (up 8.05%), Ark (up 6.13%), Dash (up 5.09%), and Zcash (up 5.04%).
The worst performers from the top 50 largest cryptocurrencies by market capitalization included Maker (down -8.85%), VeChain (down -6.97%), Walton (down -4.95%), Populous (down -4.58%), Decred (down -4.14%), ICON (down -3.26%), and TRON (down -2.42%).
Bitcoin Regulations Weigh on Speculators
Bitcoin is holding above $11,300 as regulators eye greater efforts to reign in speculation and improve transparency in the cryptocurrency space.
Yesterday, leaders at the CFTC and SEC penned an op-ed piece in The Wall Street Journal on their commitment to monitor the industry. The chairs of both agencies said they will devote greater resources to reduce fraud across the sector, particularly around initial coin offerings.
This week, the CFTC filed charges against the founders of cryptocurrency “My Big Coin” (MBC) for misappropriating more than $6 million of investor funds.
The agency said that it operated a Ponzi scheme.
Its two founders, Randall Carter and Mark Gillespie, allegedly collected money from investors and redirected the capital directly into their own personal bank accounts.
MBC presented its cryptocurrency as a “gold-backed” coin.
Litecoin Prices Fall 7% for the Week
Litecoin has been retreating since the price pushed above $214 last Saturday.
The downward trend has ensued with little explanation.
Meanwhile, Ripple dropped 2.3% despite positive news for its growing ecosystem. Two more payment-processing companies announced plans to integrate Ripple into their cross-border remittance systems.
Bitcoin Critics Pounce as Cryptocurrency Prices Fall
With Bitcoin off nearly 45% from its all-time high from December 2017, critics have piled on in recent days.
UBS Group Chair Alex Weber said at the World Economic Forum this week that he is expecting a big market correction. Weber said that UBS will not offer its clients the ability to invest in cryptocurrencies due to price volatility.
He also said South Korea and China’s regulatory efforts are signs that nations are moving toward outright bans of Bitcoin.
Meanwhile, Nobel Prize-winning economist Richard Thaler told a Portuguese publication that he thinks Bitcoin looks like a bubble.
With that in mind, he isn’t able to say when exactly the bubble among “Bitcoin and its sisters” will ultimately burst.
He also said that the debt markets are facing bubble territory, but the crypto space to him looks to be the most irrational.
*This has been a guest post by Money Morning*