Is bitcoin back? Signs pointed to price strength in Monday trading after the No. 1 digital currency by market value surged over the weekend. Here's what you need to know in cryptocurrencies for Monday, April 23.
Weekend Price Rally
Bitcoin prices soared as high as $9,000 on Sunday trading, capping a weekend of gains that saw the cryptocurrency climb to levels not seen since March 22. As prices rallied among most of the top cryptocurrencies over the weekend, the value of the digital asset market reached $400 billion briefly for the first time since early March. After dipping back below the threshold, the market's value teetered over $400 billion again Monday morning. Cryptocurrencies had gained about $100 billion in April at this weekend's highs. Trading volume also surged, reaching $8.4 billion Friday and $7.5 billion Saturday. Trading volume had only reached $8 billion one other time since March 9. While bitcoin prices have gained in recent trading, they remain about 55% off an all-time high of nearly $20,000 set in December.
Goldman Hires Head Crypto Trader
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) has hired a head of digital assets markets in a bid to gauge client interest in trading bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Justin Schmidt, who is 38, will join Goldman in its New York securities division as the VP and head of digital assets markets, a bank spokeswoman told ZeroHedge. Schmidt previously worked in quantitative trading and graduated from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In late-2017, Goldman was rumored to have considered opening a cryptocurrency trading desk, but upper management denied the claim. "In response to client interest in various digital products, we are exploring how best to serve them in the space. At this point, we have not reached a conclusion on the scope of our digital asset offering," the bank said after hiring Schmidt.
Coinbase Suspends WikiLeaks
ANNOUNCE: Coinbase has blocked the official @WikiLeaks shop from its platform without notice or explanation. You can continue to donate #Bitcoin to WikiLeaks at https://t.co/lvhoyhlqUa. #Coinbase #DefendWL #Cryptocurrency #Ethereum #BitcoinCash #ReconnectJulian pic.twitter.com/4BSS023OOk— WikiLeaks Shop (@WikiLeaksShop) April 21, 2018
WikiLeaks said it would "call for a global blockade of Coinbase" because it is "an unfit member of the crypto community." It's not the first time WikiLeaks has been reprimanded by a financial services provider, though - Mastercard Inc. (MA) and PayPal Holdings Inc. (PYPL) have both restricted WikiLeaks on their platforms.
Monex CEO: Regulation 'Common Sense'
The chief executive of Monex Group, Oki Matsumoto, told Reuters that Japan's cryptocurrency exchanges should be regulated with closer scrutiny. Monex, which is the third-largest online brokerage in Japan, recently bought Coincheck, a Japanese crypto exchange that was hacked in an attack that cost users as much as $530 million. "Japan's exchanges do both matching and custodial services - they're close to a bank," Matsumoto said. "To someone in the financial industry like myself, it's common sense that regulations will get stricter."