Wednesday, February 07,
2018 03:51 PM / TechCrunch
Bitcoin is booming today after the US
Senate discussed the possible introduction of new laws to combat the volatility
of cryptocurrency and stop digital currencies from being used by scammers and
This morning, the price of Bitcoin
soared by almost a third and all the other major cryptocurrencies also
showed price growth too.
The price of one Bitcoin is now
sitting at just under $8,000 (£5,744) after skyrocketing from a low yesterday
of just over $6,000 (£4,308).
The surge may have been prompted by a
US Senate hearing on virtual currencies in which Jay Clayton, chairman at the
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), said: ‘We may be back with our
friends from Treasury and the Fed to ask for additional legislation.’
If America imposes strict new rules on
the trading of Bitoin – but doesn’t ban it outright – it would make the
notoriously wild and unruly cryptocurrency markets more stable.
New laws would make virtual coins more
attractive to investors, particularly if they reduce volatility which causes
the price to of cryptocurrencies to fluctuate wildly.
Other digital currencies also rose
after posting steep losses in the last few weeks. Ethereum, the
second-largest by market value, was up 10.7 percent over the past 24 hours at
$791.33, while the third-largest, Ripple, edged up nearly 6 percent at 76 U.S.
cents, according to cryptocurrency tracker coinmarketcap.com.
Senator Mike Crapo, the Republican
chairman of the panel, and Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown were among the
lawmakers to express worries about volatility, investor protections and the
risks posed by cybercriminals in the virtual currency market.
‘Between the enforcement actions brought
by your agencies, the hack of the international Coincheck exchange…there is no
shortage of examples that increase investor concerns,’ Crapo said, referring to
hackers’ recent theft of $530 million from Japanese bitcoin exchange Coincheck.
Federal legislation could help to
clarify which government agency has the authority to police the underlying
virtual currency cash market, the regulators said.
Christopher Giancarlo, chairman of the
Commodity Futures Trading Commission, said: ‘As word is getting out that
we will go after misconduct I think you’re starting to see that reflected in
the price of Bitcoin.’
The cryptocurrency markets are
notoriously sensitive about government legislation, with calls for bans on
certain aspects of trading prompting huge crashse in the value of Bitcoin and
But it appears that the possibility of
US laws to regulate markets so they protect users has reassured investors.
Washington does not appear to show an
appetite for a ban.
After all, if there’s one thing America
knows how to do, it’s making a lot of money. And there’s a lot of cash to be
made in the brave new world of cryptocurrencies.