Bitcoin Breaks $1,400

On Monday, and for the first time ever, bitcoin was worth over $1,400.

While the day’s high was $1,422.22 according to CoinDesk, trading at the time of writing was closer $1,413, up 4.88 percent for the day, up 42 percent from the start of 2017 and up a whopping 215 percent from this time last year.

If there’s any probable cause for the rise, it’s likely that the SEC recently announced plans to review last month’s rejection of the proposed Winklevoss Bitcoin ETF.

At the time, the SEC nixed listing the twin’s ETF on the Bats BZX Exchange due to lack of oversight, regulation and the potential for fraud in the broader bitcoin space.

The SEC looks to address the Bats petition for review and has opened up for comment for or against before May 15. Though, since not much has changed for bitcoin in the way of regulatory overhaul in the past few months, it doesn’t seem likely that the SEC’s previous decision will be overturned.

The rise in price comes at a point in bitcoin’s story when exchanges are experiencing service disruptions due to banks pulling out of high-risk areas — the case with Bitfinex, BTC-e and OKCoin International.

The situation at Bitfinex led to a notable widening of exchange spread. This has held pace alongside the value spike. At the time of writing, BTC traded at over $1,520 on the Hong Kong-based exchange.

For now, traders can rest at least somewhat assured that this isn’t going to turn into another Mt. Gox. By the numbers, Mt. Gox traded between 10 to 26 percent higher than its competitors in its final days. Though the potential for arbitrage at Bitfinex is still a concern.

Elsewhere in the ecosystem, a number of Chinese exchanges are still halted a month and a half after they were due to unfreeze digital currency withdrawals, as talks continue with the People’s Bank of China (PBoC).

While service upgrades have been completed, exchange officials and the PBoC are still at odds over the know-your-customer rules to be enforced on reopening.



The How We Shop Report, a PYMNTS collaboration with PayPal, aims to understand how consumers of all ages and incomes are shifting to shopping and paying online in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our research builds on a series of studies conducted since March, surveying more than 16,000 consumers on how their shopping habits and payments preferences are changing as the crisis continues. This report focuses on our latest survey of 2,163 respondents and examines how their increased appetite for online commerce and digital touchless methods, such as QR codes, contactless cards and digital wallets, is poised to shape the post-pandemic economy.

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