Crypto Mixed; China Might Ban Crypto Mining

10 April 2019, 19: 09
© Reuters.

Prices of the major cryptocurrencies were mixed on Wednesday morning in Asia. Price movements were slight due to a lack of directional movers.

Bitcoin dropped 0.10% to $5,188.4 by 12:08 PM ET (04:08 AM GMT), still holding on above the $5,000 level. It had been below the $5,000 level since mid-November before it suddenly gained steam on April 1.

Ethereum added 1.49% to $178.69, XRP slid 0.17% to $0.34922 and Litecoin rose 0.76% to $87.453.

The crypto market cap remained at $181 billion, the same level as the day before.

China’s planning agency that formulates macroeconomic policies said it considers banning crypto mining in the country, Reuters reported. The news stirred a lot of attention among the industry players and traders.

On Monday, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) included crypto mining in the list of industrial activities it intends to eliminate and it is now seeking public opinion until May 7.

“The NDRC’s move is in line overall with China’s desire to control different layers of the rapidly growing crypto industry, and does not yet signal a major shift in policy,” Jehan Chu, managing partner at blockchain investment firm Kenetic, told Reuters.

The world’s second largest economy, China is known for its tough stance against cryptocurrencies. For example, the People’s Bank of China banned initial coin offerings in September 2017.

China is an ideal place for crypto mining owing to its cheap energy and abundance of hardware. Mining giant Bitmain intends to set up 200,000 units of mining equipment in the country to make use of its cheap hydroelectric power.

The news did not set Bitcoin back, which continued to hover above the $5,000 level.

Another news that garnered some attention was the U.S. subsidiary of European crypto exchange Bitstamp being granted a virtual currency license from New York state’s financial regulator.

Bitstamp USA is now the 19th company to get BitLicense to conduct digital currency operations in New York state. Now Bitstamp USA can offer services to let customers buy and sell Bitcoin, along with certain virtual tokens, for U.S. dollar and vice versa.

“Bitstamp USA is also authorized to facilitate transfers of funds onto the RippleNetwork, issuing Ripple Balances in USD, other virtual currencies, and select fiat currencies, including the Australian Dollar, British Pound, Euro, Swiss Franc, and Japanese Yen,” the regulator said.

With a turnover of $100 million per day, Bitstamp is seen as the largest crypto exchange in the EU by volume.