Newsflash: Bitcoin Leaps Over $200 to Surpass $4,100 for the First Time in Two Weeks

Bitcoin, the flagship cryptocurrency, has recently seen its price jump well over $200 in about 15 minutes to cross the $4,100 mark, something it hadn’t done since December 24, a day in which it saw its price dip from the $4,300 mark.

According to CryptoCompare data BTC is currently trading at $4,120 after seeing a $200 leap in a short amount of time, that helped it surge from the $3,880 mark in which it started the day. The leap has added billions to its market cap, as it’s currently up over 6.5% in the last 24-hour period.

Bitcoin has jump jumped over the $4,100 mark

What’s behind the flagship cryptocurrency’s sudden rise is, at press time, unclear. On social media various users have only so far started celebrating the move, and most suspect a whale has decided to stock up on BTC.

The surge comes shortly after legendary investor Gary Shilling revealed he’s staying away from BTC over its lack of “transparency,” and after it was revealed that nearly 80% of cryptocurrency investors are still net-invested in the flagship cryptocurrency.

It also notably comes during an ad campaign made by the Gemini Trust Company, a popular cryptocurrency exchange, that calls for cryptocurrency regulations and argues there needs to be a “bridge” between the traditional financial system and the cryptocurrency space. Notably Weiss Ratings has recently noted that bitcoin will “rise up and head for new all-time highs” as well.

Most top altcoins have seemingly followed BTC’s lead and are also on the move. The MVIS CryptoCompare Digital Assets 100 Index, a market cap-weighted index that tracks the top 100 cryptos, is currently up by over 5% in the last 24-hour period.

It may, however, be too early to celebrate. Some analysts on social media have already noted that BTC’s low liquidity may have helped the move be so dramatic, and at press time the price appears to be receding.

Speaking to CryptoGlobe this week Mati Greenspan, a senior market analyst at eToro, noted that if we do go back down again, the $3,000 mark represents a “critical support.” On Twitter, he noted that if BTC keeps moving up, it’ll face resistance at $5,000.

When asked whether he believes we’ll be moving up to test the $5,000 mark in the near future or whether the cryptocurrency is going to drop to $3,000 again, he noted that “we’ll see.” As to whether the pump was aided by low liquidity, he stated:

Bitcoin often spikes on low liquidity. What looks significant here is that the jump took us above the psychological barrier of $4,000, which Bitcoin has been testing since Christmas.

This week, litecoin (LTC) has also seen considerable gains. As covered, the cryptocurrency has been rising after hitting the 100 LTC node count on the Lightning Network (LN). At press time, it’s trading at $40 after rising 12% in the last 24-hour period.

This article has been updated to add Mati Greenspan's comments.

ErisX Tells Regulator's Why Ethereum Futures Would Create Better Markets

  • Nasdaq and Fidelity Investments-backed ErisX exchange sends explanation letter to CFTC.
  • Letter explains that regulated Ether-based futures contract would create more efficient crypto markets.

ErisX, a US-based digital asset exchange, has filed a comment letter with the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) - after the federal regulator requested more information regarding Ethereum (ETH)’s current market.

Submitted on Friday, February 15, ErisX’s letter asserted:

The introduction of a regulated futures contract on Ether would have a positive impact on the growth and maturation of the market.

As covered, ErisX is a newly launched cryptoasset exchange that received $27.5 million in starting capital from multi-trillion dollar investment manager, Fidelity and Nasdaq Ventures, which is Intercontinental Exchange’s (ICE) VC investment division.

Consistent With CFTC's Efforts

In December 2018, ErisX’s management revealed its plans to offer bitcoin (BTC), litecoin (LTC), and ether (ETH) spot trading and it also noted that it was seeking regulatory approval - in order to list cryptocurrency futures at a later point this year. Explaining why such futures contracts would help investors, ErisX’s letter noted that “listing and trading Ether futures compliantly on CFTC regulated markets is consistent” with the financial regulator’s efforts to create “open, transparent, competitive, and financially sound derivative trading markets.”

The letter from ErisX further mentioned that regulated crypto-based futures would “prohibit fraud, manipulation, and abusive practices in connection with derivatives and other products subject to the (Commodity Exchange Act) CEA.” According to the CFTC, bitcoin can be considered a commodity as it has been designed to potentially replace existing fiat currencies (as a medium-of-exchange). Because of bitcoin and ethereum’s decentralized nature, they are arguably not securities, the CFTC has clarified on several occasions.

Explaining the differences between the Ethereum and Bitcoin protocol, ErisX’s letter has stated: 

Ethereum built upon some of the architectural principles of Bitcoin to extend [its] functionality of [a] distributed, (cryptographically) secured, (blockchain-enabled) record-keeping system to include new computational capabilities for the execution of arbitrary code.

"Unregulated Exchanges And Brokers" Trying To "Fill The Gap"

Per ErisX’s analysis of current trends in the global Ethereum (and larger digital asset) market, there is still not a proper regulatory framework in place. This, according to ErisX, has discouraged several large enterprises from entering the fragile crypto ecosystem. At present, ErisX believes there’s a trend emerging in which “unregulated or lightly regulated ‘exchanges’ [and] ‘brokers’ [are trying] to fill the gap, many of them off-shore.” However, ErisX cautioned there may be certain risks associated with this type of market such as increased volatility and liquidity fluctuations.

As noted in ErisX’s letter:

Not unique to Ether, but [current crypto markets could suffer due to] the current fragmented global market structure of trading platforms and ‘exchanges’ with significantly varying degrees of regulatory oversight and operational transparency and integrity.

By introducing standardized, CFTC-regulated Ether-based financial products, ErisX argues the crypto space might receive a more positive response from institutional investors - which could potentially lead to “more robust, liquid, and resilient markets.”