Friday, 19 April 2019

Bitcoin Today: Price Moves Narrowly Lower as Another Big Bank Cites Risk

Bitcoin was trading lower Wednesday, Feb. 28, but prices remained safely above the important $10,000 price threshold. Most of the top cryptocurrencies by market cap were burrowing into the red Wednesday as headlines were mixed. This is what you can't miss in crypto this Wednesday.

JPMorgan Cites Risk

Action Alerts PLUS holding JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM - Get Report) joined the list of high profile investment banks citing the "disruptive threat" of cryptocurrencies. In a Feb. 27 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, JPMorgan listed cryptocurrencies under the "competition" subsection of its 10-K filing, writing "Both financial institutions and their non-banking competitors face the risk that payment processing and other services could be disrupted by technologies, such as cryptocurrencies, that require no intermediation." The bank continued to say that the new technologies could "require JPMorgan Chase to spend more to modify or adapt its products to attract and retain clients and customers or to match products and services offered by its competitors, including technology companies."

Bitcoin to $25,000?

Fundstrat's Tom Lee is still pounding the table on the crypto, TheStreet's Brian Sozzi points out. "In 6 of the last 7 years, Bitcoin posted its annual low within the first 60 days, before March -- in 2018, bitcoin was down 50% by Feb 6 (36 days), which falls within that time frame," Lee wrote in a new note. "In other words, as we enter March, this is another reason to view $5,900 as THE LOW for the year and we see bitcoin reaching $20,000 by mid-year and $25,000 by year-end." Judging by the use of capital letters, Lee means business here, Sozzi said. Lee says the growing active user base of crypto is one reason for his ongoing bullishness. He forecasts another "super cycle" in alternative coins like bitcoin by late summer.

CFTC Greenlights Employee Trades

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission has given employees permission to invest in cryptocurrencies, according to Bloomberg. CFTC General Counsel Daniel Davis reportedly gave the green light in a memo earlier this month after receiving "numerous inquiries" from employees. While they can invest in cryptocurrencies, CFTC employees cannot trade crypto futures or margins. The CFTC memo stated the following: "In this environment, the situation is ripe for the public to question the personal ethics of employees engaging in cryptocurrency transactions. Please keep in mind that you must endeavor to avoid any actions creating the appearance that you are violating the law or government and commission ethical standards."

U.S. 'Comprehensive Strategy'

U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said the government is working on a "comprehensive strategy" surrounding cryptocurrencies. Speaking at a Financial Services Roundtable, Rosenstein referred to a new cybercrime task force the Justice Department announced last week that will focus on crypto crime enforcement. "A lot of these schemes involve bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies which do not flow through the traditional financial system. What we're working on now with our cybercrime task force is working on a comprehensive strategy to deal with that," Rosenstein said.

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