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.

U.S. Congressman McHenry Calls Bitcoin ‘An Unstoppable Force’ at Libra Hearing

As far as cryptocurrency fans are concerned, one U.S. Congressman, Patrick McHenry, was the star of the House Financial Services Committee hearing on Libra on Wednesday (July 17). 

Before we talk about what happened at this hearing, and more specifically, how Congressman McHenry managed to endear himself to all blockchain and cryptocurrency fans, it might be helpful to present a very brief biography of him here.

Patrick Timothy McHenry is the U.S. Representative for North Carolina's 10th congressional district. He is serving his eight term at the U.S. congress, where he is currently the Republican Leader of the House Financial Services Committee, "a committee he has served on since he was elected to Congress" (in 2004, when he was just 29 years old).

On Wednesday (July 17), a day after Facebook's David Marcus, who is a co-creator of Libra and the head of the Calibra project, faced tough questions at the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs (aka "Senate Banking Committee"), came the real grilling at a full hearing (titled "Examining Facebook’s Proposed Cryptocurrency and Its Impact on Consumers, Investors, and the American Financial System") of the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services.

Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), who had previously implored Facebook to stop working on the Libra project until Congress could understand better the implications of what Facebook's proposed cryptocurrency, started the hearing by delivering a prepared statement, during which she, once again, expressed her "serious concerns with Facebook’s plans":

This venture is slated to be based in Switzerland, which has a history as a monetary haven for criminals and shady corporations. Facebook’s plans raise serious privacy, trading, national security, and monetary policy concerns, not only for Facebook’s over 2 billion users, who will have immediate access to these products, but also for consumers, investors and the global economy.

 Congressman McHenry's gave his opening remarks around 11:00 (Eastern Time). Here were the main highlights:

  • "Washington must go beyond the hype and ensure that it's not the place where innovation goes to die."
  • "Just because we may not fully understand a new technology proposal does not mean we should immediately call for its prohibition, especially when that proposal is just that — a proposal."
  • "The reality is whether Facebook is involved or not, change is here. Digital currencies exist. Blockchain technology is real. And Facebook's entry in this world is just confirmation, albeit at scale."
  •  "The world that Satoshi Nakamoto, author of the Bitcoin whitepaper, envisioned—and others are building—is an unstoppable force."
  • "We should not attempt to deter this innovation, and governments cannot stop this innovation. And those that have tried have already failed."
  • "Instead of a knee jerk reaction of banning something before it begins, my Replication colleagues and I want to first try an understanding. An in turn, based off what we learn, determine whether or not our current regulatory framework meets the demands of this new technology."  

Then, around 15:30 (ET), McHenry began his questioning of David Marcus about Libra; some of his most interesting questions are listed below.

McHenry: Is it a security?

Marcus: We don't believe it is, Congressman.

McHenry: Is it a commodity?

Marcus: Congressman, based on current U.S. law, it might be a commodity, but we see it as a payment tool.

McHenry: Is it an exchange traded fund?

Marcus: It is not, Congressman.

Congressman McHenry repeated his claim about Bitcoin being an unstoppable force during an interview with Andrew Ross Sorkin on CNBC's morning news and talk program "Squawk Box":

I think there is no capacity to kill Bitcoin. Even the Chinese with their firewall and their extreme intervention in their society could not kill Bitcoin.

Sorkin then told McHenry that although it might not be possible to technically "kill" Bitcoin, it was possible for governments to create legislation that made access to Bitcoin illegal for their citizens at fiat on/off ramps such as exchanges (e.g. Coinbase) and custodial wallets (e.g. Calibra), and that would "effectively make it very very difficult for the mainstream to use it." Sorkin then said that's why investors in Bitcoin were worried, which explained the recent drop in price.

McHenry replied:

Yes, so the price has come down to roughly $10,000... But you are talking about something that... people were giving away for free. It's now trading at $10,000... But the essence of Bitcoin is what Libra, Facebook, and corporates are trying to mimic.