Cryptocurrency Market Hits Five-Week Highs as Investors Shrug Off New York Inquiry

The cryptocurrency market’s recovery broadened on Thursday, with prices hitting their highest level in five weeks after the Kraken digital currency exchange indicated it would not comply with the state of New York’s request for information.

Cryptocurrencies Add Value

The combined value of all cryptocurrencies in circulation reached a high near $359 billion on Thursday, according to latest available data. That’s the highest level since Mar. 14.

With the rally, digital currencies have now added more than 32% since last Thursday. Prices have also recovered 47% from the swing low on April Fool’s Day.

In percentage terms, bitcoin cash (BCH) was once again the best-performer in the top-ten, having gained 9.4% over the past 24 hours. The digital currency was last seen hovering north of $965 for a total market cap of $16.5 billion.

Ethereum saw its value rise by nearly 8% during the day, with prices reaching $564 a coin. The world’s second-largest crypto asset by market cap now has a total value of $55.7 billion.

The value of bitcoin stabilized near $8,277 for a gain of around 1.4%. In the process, its share of the total market has crept below 40% for the first time since late February.

Kraken and the State of New York

Kraken co-founder and CEO Jesse Powell indicated earlier this week that his company would not comply with the New York attorney general’s investigation into crypto exchanges.

“Somebody has to say what everybody’s actually thinking about the NYAG’s inquiry” Powell said via Twitter. “The placative kowtowing toward this kind of abuse sends the message that it’s ok. It’s not ok. It’s insulting.”

He added: “The resource diversion for this production is massive. This is going to completely blow up our roadmap! Then I realized we made the wise decision to get the hell out of New York three years ago and that we can dodge this bullet.”

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman launched his investigation earlier this week by asking 13 major exchanges to fill out a questionnaire related to their operations and security measures.

“Too often, consumers don’t have the basic facts they need to assess the fairness, integrity, and security of these trading platforms,” Schneiderman said in a statement.

The questionnaire asks for detailed information about fees, margin trading requirements and consumer-protection policies employed by the major exchanges. It also asks how they would go about suspending trading or delaying pending orders. Exchanges have until May 1 to respond.

Schneiderman’s investigation is intended to bring more transparency to the market by exposing how platforms charge customers and deal with suspicious trading.

Among the exchanges summoned to respond are Bitfinex, Coinbase, Gemini Trust and bitFlyer USA. At the time of writing, Kraken was the only platform to dissent to the request.

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