Bitcoin Price Gains Momentum as BlackRock Gets Serious About Crypto
After a week of lateral moves, the bitcoin price rose Monday on reports that one of Wall Street’s biggest asset managers was assembling a team to explore cryptocurrency adoption.
Bitcoin Price Update
The largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization peaked near $6,620 at 08:49 UTC, the highest in six days. At the time of writing, bitcoin was trading near the intraday high of $6,620 for a gain of 4%, according to CoinMarketCap.
Bitcoin held relatively steady over the weekend, with prices hovering between $6,300 and $6,400. The coin’s successful defense of $6,000 – a key technical and psychological threshold – has encouraged bids after trading volumes plunged to their lowest levels of the year.
As Hacked reported Sunday, turnover in the cryptocurrency market fell to $8.8 billion over the weekend. Bitcoin accounted for roughly a third of that total. On Monday, bitcoin’s trading volumes were back up to around $4.9 billion, the highest in two weeks.
Bitcoin is likely to run into resistance north of $6,800 – a region that capped last weekend’s rally. BTC/USD peaked at $6,866 on July 8.
Institutional Bull Run?
Bitcoin’s gains were fueled by speculation that BlackRock, one of the world’s largest asset managers, is planning an entry into the cryptocurrency market.
London’s Financial News, citing unnamed sources, said BlackRock has assembled a working group to investigate blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. Sources also indicated that the team of exports is looking at what other asset managers are doing with cryptocurrencies and how it can impact BlackRock’s underlying business. The findings of the research will be presented to senior management.
“Like most financial institutions, BlackRock has a working group that meets periodically to exchange information on blockchain and consists of employees from various parts of the business,” a spokesperson for the company said in a statement, according to CNBC.
“We have been looking at blockchain technology for several years, recognizing potential for shared processes and data across market participants, clearing, settlement and reconciliation and simplified securities issuance.”
CNBC believes the working group was first assembled in 2015.
While cryptocurrencies continue to polarize Wall Street, major financial institutions are slowly changing their tack. It was only last year that BlackRock CEO Larry Fink said that bitcoin was merely a “speculative” instrument used for anonymity and money laundering. Now, his company may be on the cusp of entering the market.
Exchanges like Coinbase are betting big on institutional adoption and have created a suite of custodial services aimed at luring this segment of the market. Industry experts believe that the next major bull market for cryptocurrencies will be driven mainly by institutions, marking a significant departure from the retail-dominated surge of 2017.
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.
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