Bitcoin Holds Above $4,000 as Trading Range Narrows; Hong Kong Billionaire Backs Crypto Startup

Bitcoin’s trading range continued to narrow on Wednesday, with prices experiencing a modest pullback from recent highs as indecision permeated the markets.

BTC/USD Update

Bitcoin touched a session low of $4,009.38 before recovering north of $4,040 through the early morning, according to CCN’s price tracker. Aggregate data courtesy of CoinMarketCap show an average price of $4,043.90 at the time of writing, a decline of 0.9% on the day.

The bitcoin price fluctuated within a $130 range on most major exchanges. It traded as low as $3,967 on HitBTC and as high as $4,090 on Bitfinex.

Trading volumes were valued at $5.2 billion, little changed compared with 24 hours ago. BitMEX saw its share of the total volume rise from 15% to 17%, based on latest available data.

Bitcoin is enjoying steady demand near $4,000, but a failure to push north of $4,100 could lead to a minor pullback in the coming days. The leading digital currency has failed to set new highs since Christmas Eve, when prices crossed $4,300 on some exchanges.

At current values, bitcoin has a total market capitalization of $70.6 billion. Its dominance rate is holding steady at 51.6%.

Billionaire Backs Bitcoin

Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing is one of several prominent investors supporting Intercontinental Exchange’s upcoming Bakkt trading platform. Li, who ranks 23rd on the Forbes rich list, has invested in the startup through Horizon Ventures, his venture capital firm.

As Hacked reported last month, ICE managed to raise $182.5 million in early-stage funding for its Bakkt trading platform. In addition to Horizon Ventures, other high-profile investors include Galaxy Digital, Boston Consulting Group and Microsoft’s venture capital arm. Read more: ICE Has Raised $182.5 Million for Upcoming Bakkt Trading Platform.

According to Forbes, Li’s involvement in the cryptocurrency market stretches back to at least 2013 when he invested in Bitpay, a popular bitcoin payment processor. Bitpay has since gone on to secure additional funding from big-name investors like Richard Branson, the billionaire founder of Virgin.

The influx of capital into cryptocurrency projects suggests high-profile investors are still looking to capitalize on the revolutionary technology in the face of bear-market conditions. This is a promising sign for long-term holders of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, who have seen the ICO bubble deflate over the past six months.

Some of bitcoin’s most ardent supporters believe Bakkt could have a major impact on crypto prices and mainstream acceptance of the nascent technology. In addition to a physical bitcoin futures trading desk, Bakkt will allow users to buy, sell and store cryptocurrency using Microsoft’s cloud. Through Bakkt, Starbucks will allow users to convert their digital currencies into dollars for use at retail locations.

The company was slated to launch its futures operation later this month but could face delays due to regulatory bottlenecks.

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Chief Editor to and Contributor to, Sam Bourgi has spent the past nine years focused on economics, markets and cryptocurrencies. His work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE and Forbes. Avid crypto watchers and those with a libertarian persuasion can follow him on twitter at @hsbourgi