World Economy

Cryptocurrency Market Stabilizes After Violent Sell-Off

Cryptocurrency Market Stabilizes After Violent Sell-Off
Cryptocurrency Market Stabilizes After Violent Sell-Off

Cryptocurrency markets stabilized on Saturday after a violent sell-off saw billions of dollars wiped off the value of many digital coins. Still many of the cryptocurrencies were well off their all-time highs.

Bitcoin hit $8,997.91 on Saturday morning New York time, according to CoinDesk data. CoinDesk's bitcoin price index tracks prices from digital currency exchanges Bitstamp, Coinbase, itBit and Bitfinex, CNBC reported.

Ethereum hit a high in the day of $945.21 and Ripple traded as high as $0.89. Bitcoin was up around 7% in 24 hours, while Ethereum and Ripple were significantly higher.

The rebound in prices follow a severe sell-off on Friday which saw over $100 billion of value wiped off the cryptocurrency market and sent bitcoin below $8,000 for the first time since November.

Cryptocurrency markets have been hit with some bad news of late, particularly worries over tighter regulation.

India's Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the country wants to "eliminate" the use of digital currencies in criminal activities, signaling tighter regulation in the country.

There are also lingering fears about a cryptocurrency called tether and its ability to collapse the bitcoin market.

Despite the small rebound on Saturday, some virtual currencies are still off their all-time highs. Bitcoin hit a record $19,000 in December 2017.

Meanwhile, a growing number of big US credit-card issuers are deciding they don’t want to finance a falling knife, Bloomberg reported.

JPMorgan Chase & Co., Bank of America Corp. and Citigroup Inc. said they’re halting purchases of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies on their credit cards. JPMorgan, enacting the ban Saturday, doesn’t want the credit risk associated with the transactions, company spokeswoman Mary Jane Rogers said.

Bank of America started declining credit card transactions with known crypto exchanges on Friday. The policy applies to all personal and business credit cards, according to a memo. It doesn’t affect debit cards, said company spokeswoman Betty Riess.

And late Friday, Citigroup said it too will halt purchases of cryptocurrencies on its credit cards. “We will continue to review our policy as this market evolves,” company spokeswoman Jennifer Bombardier said.

Allowing purchases of cryptocurrencies can create big headaches for lenders, which can be left on the hook if a borrower bets wrong and can’t repay. There’s also the risk that thieves will abuse cards that were purloined or based on stolen identities, turning them into crypto hoards.

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