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Bitcoin gets boost from IMF head

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The No. 1 digital currency regained ground Tuesday, after some upbeat news from the head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) pushed bitcoin back above $8,000.

The price of a single bitcoin BTCUSD, +1.29%  was last valued at $8,109.29, up 0.7% on the day and off its early morning low of $7,972.55.

Lagarde sees more prominent role for crypto, blockchain

The digital-currency community got some good news late Monday when the head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) outlined the benefits of bitcoin and the blockchain technology.

In a blog post, Christine Lagarde said cryptocurrencies have the power to minimize transaction costs, while the technology that underlines the cryptocurrencies could improve efficiency and increase safety.

“Crypto-assets enable fast and inexpensive financial transactions, while offering some of the convenience of cash. Some payment services now make overseas transfers in a matter of hours, not days,” Lagarde wrote in the April 16 post.

“The underlying technology of crypto-assets—distributed ledger technology, or DLT—could help financial markets function more efficiently. Self-executing and self-enforcing “smart contracts” could eliminate the need for some intermediaries.”

Lagarde’s comments come as digital currencies are making a comeback; bitcoin rose by as much as 20% last week, recording back-to-back weekly gains for the first time since 2017.

Read: Can blockchain technology live up to the hype? Barclays analysts say no

What are market experts saying?

The outperformance of altcoins, or alternatives to bitcoin, is a good sign, says one industry participant.

“As we’ve noted several times before, the crypto market tends to move together when things are falling but when prices are rising performance between different coins may vary,” said Mati Greenspan, senior market analyst at eToro, in a note Tuesday.

“Therefore, it’s a great sign that over the past week the different cryptos have all been rising but with widely different percentage gains.”

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Relative performance across crypto market

The two standouts have been Ripple, which rose more than 30% last week, and Litecoin.

Altcoins and futures

Other digital currencies have followed bitcoin higher Tuesday. Ether has gained 1.1%, to $516.57, Bitcoin cash has risen 1.7% to $778.64, Litecoin is the best performing of the smaller bunch, adding 8.3%, last trading at $138.91 and Ripple’s XRP is in the green by 1.4% at 67 cents.

The Cboe’s April contract XBTJ8, +1.64% which expires Wednesday, is higher by 1.9% at $8,100 and the CME Group Inc. April contract BTCJ8, +1.38% has added 1.8% to be at $8,125.

 

Source: www.marketwatch.com