Bitcoin values pull ahead as market eyes $4,900 and beyond.
Bitcoin continued higher on Wednesday, approaching its best levels since early September as investors disregarded Russia’s attempt to curb cryptocurrency exchanges.
The BTC/USD exchange rate climbed 1.7% to $4,835, according to CoinDesk. Pricrs reached a session high of $4,863.
Bitcoin’s market cap has reached $80 billion during the latest rally, which is more than half of the total cryptocurrency asset class.
Meanwhile, the value of Ethereum was little changed around $300.
The Grayscale Bitcoin Investment Trust (NYSEARCA:GBTC), which provides exposure to bitcoin through a traditional investment vehicle, closed at $625.02 on Wednesday, where it fell 6.7%.
On Tuesday, a top Russian central banker said bitcoin exchanges would be banned in the country as part of a broader fight against money laundering. Russian President Vladimir Putin said cryptocurrencies create “opportunities to launder funds acquired through criminal activities, tax evasion, even terrorism, as well as the spread of fraud schemes.”
Russia becomes the third major economy in the span of a month to put the clamps on cryptocurrency. Chinese regulators have banned initial coin offerings (ICOs) as well as digital currency exchanges, while South Korea has deemed the former impermissible.
The Final Word: A murky regulatory environment hasn’t slowed down bitcoin. The world’s leading cryptocurrency by market cap is enjoying renewed upside ahead of a planned hard fork later this month.