Bitcoin (BTC) was in the red and traded above the $32K mark at press-time with almost all major altcoins trading lower along with it but a notable exception was Ethereum (ETH).
What Happened: The apex cryptocurrency traded 2.92% lower at $32,004.18, while the runners-up in terms of market cap —ETH traded 8.84% higher at $1,056.50.
Grayscale Bitcoin Trust GBTC closed 9.63% higher at $35.08 and the Grayscale Ethereum Trust ETHE closed 22.58% lower at $12 on Monday.
Litecoin (LTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) traded 3.41% and 2.6% lower at $153.15 and $410.23 respectively.
Chainlink (LINK) traded 3.97% lower at $13.55, while Monero (XMR) traded 7.14% lower at $131.97.
XRP was up by 0.57% at $0.23.
Federally regulated banks have been allowed by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) to conduct payments and other activities in stablecoins, the regulator said in a statement Monday.
“The United States has relied on our innovation sector to deliver real-time payments technologies. Some of those technologies are built and managed by bank consortia and some are based on independent node verification networks such as blockchains,” said Acting Comptroller of the Currency Brian Brooks.
Ethereum is dominantly used as a stablecoin payment settlement protocol, CoinDesk noted.
Why It Matters: The OCC announcement removes legal uncertainty surrounding banks connecting with blockchain as validator nodes, as per Brooks.
Ethereum saw a spike of nearly 12% after the OCC announcement was made as it enjoys dominance in the stablecoin payment settlement protocol, CoinDesk reported.
“After a flurry of negative regulatory news, investors are pleased to see positive regulatory news allowing stablecoin and public blockchain integration into the traditional banking sector,” Blockhead Capital managing partner Justin Yashouafar said, as per CoinDesk.
Yashouafar said that other stablecoin supporting networks such as Algorand and Solana that support coins such as Tether (USDT) and Circle’s USDC also saw spikes in prices post the announcement.
USDT traded 1% higher at $1.01 while USDC was lower marginally by 0.1% at $0.99 at press-time.
Bitcoin has further upside according to JPMorgan analysts who see a $146,000 price target for the cryptocurrency if private sector investment in gold via exchange-traded funds or bullion were matched, Bloomberg reported.
“A crowding out of gold as an ‘alternative’ currency implies big upside for Bitcoin over the long term,” wrote the strategists.
The strategists predicate that likelihood on a “convergence of volatilities” between Gold and Bitcoin, which to their mind is “unlikely to happen quickly” and is “a multiyear process.”
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