Major Cryptocurrencies Flip Green as Market Approaches $290 Billion; Crypto Not Banned in India After All

All of the top cryptocurrencies reported gains on Saturday, propelling the digital asset class closer to $290 billion amid signs that some of the world’s largest crypto markets were easing restrictions on ownership and storage of virtual currencies.

Crypto Market Update

With the exception of Tether, a dollar-backed stablecoin, all of the top-ten coins were trading in positive territory. Bitcoin posted 24-hour gains of 2.2%, reaching an average price of around $10,600, according to CoinMarketCap.

Read more: Bitcoin Price Edges Higher Ahead of Bakkt Trials

Ethereum was back on the offensive after plunging below $200 earlier in the week. The second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap rose 3.8% to $226.

Ether also rose modestly against bitcoin, but remains well below levels that would encourage more buyers. The ETH/USD exchange rate edged up 1.6% to 0.0213. For many in the crypto community, the ETH/BTC exchange rate is a proxy for altcoin demand.

XRP’s price climbed 3.9% to $0.3284, bringing its total market cap back above $14 billion. Like ether, XRP fell below a key technical level during the height of last week’s selloff. The no. 3 cryptocurrency briefly traded below the 30-cent mark before recovering less than 24 hours later.

Bitcoin cash advanced 4% to $315 and has now recovered more than 20% from last Sunday’s swing low.

EOS, now the eighth-largest cryptocurrency by market cap, gained 6.8% to $4.21. The Enterprise Operating System is trading at less than half of its 90-day peak.

Percentage-wise, bitcoin SV was by far the best performer on Saturday. The no. 9 cryptocurrency jumped nearly 31% to $177.

The total cryptocurrency market capitalization peaked near $291 billion on Saturday. It was last valued at $289.7 billion.

Cryptocurrency Isn’t Banned in India After All

The circus that is India’s crypto regulations took another turn this week after Finance Minister Anurag Singh Thakur told parliament that holding and trading cryptocurrencies isn’t banned in the country.

“Presently, there is no separate law for dealing with issues relating to cryptocurrencies,” Thakur told India’s upper house in response to a question from Dharmapuri Srinivas. “Further, in view of the risks and dangers associated with cryptocurrencies, government and RBI have been issuing advisories, press releases and circulars to the public.”

India’s official story is that cryptocurrencies are being examined by a government-appointed committee that is still deliberating on how to best regulate the nascent asset class. But the Reserve Bank of India has already barred state-backed financial institutions from dealing with cryptocurrency exchanges or their customers. The ban was later upheld by the Supreme Court.

Read: Reserve Bank of India Admits It Banned Cryptocurrency With No Guidance or Research

China, another country that has instituted archaic laws targeting cryptocurrencies, recently ruled in favor of crypto ownership. In a new ruling, the Hangzhou Internet Court said cryptocurrencies like bitcoin should be classified as “virtual property” and protected as such.

The ruling was later confirmed by the People’s Bank of China, which said, “Indeed, bitcoin is virtual property, but it’s not fiat money.”

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. Charts via CoinMarketCap.

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