Bitcoin suddenly exploded on heavy volume trading early Thursday. Here are the stories you can't afford to miss about cryptocurrency.
Bitcoin Prices Rally
After being trapped below the $7,000 threshold for several days, bitcoin prices boomed as much as 17% in early morning trading Thursday. The No. 1 cryptocurrency by market value surpassed the $8,000 mark briefly in morning action before retreating some but remaining well above the $7,000 level. Trading volume topped $7 billion for the first time since March 8. It was also the first time bitcoin traded higher than $8,000 since March 28. Some traders had earlier suggested bitcoin prices were trapped below $7,000 due to selling pressure ahead of the tax deadline. Fundstrat's Tom Lee wrote last week that selling pressure was amplified for exchanges that often keep their working capital in bitcoin cash or ethereum and had to convert to U.S. dollars to pay their tax bills. Lee noted that selling "should ease up" as the tax deadline, which is Tuesday, April 17, approaches.
Nasdaq to Delist LBBC
Nasdaq will delist Long Blockchain Corp. (LBCC) , the former iced tea manufacturer that in December pivoted to become a blockchain technology-focused company. Long Blockchain, which used to be called Long Island Iced Tea Co., announced in February that it faced the possibility of being delisted, but said it planned to appeal the decision. This week, though, Long Blockchain announced that the appeal was unsuccessful and that shares will be suspended from trading on the Nasdaq starting Thursday. Nasdaq requires that companies maintain a market value of $35 million or more for 10 consecutive business days to remain eligible for the exchange, a standard LBCC couldn't meet. LBCC said it plans to apply for its common stock to be traded on the OTCQB market, but it started trading Thursday on the OTC Pink Market. LBCC stock plummeted 37% to $1.10 in its last day of Nasdaq trading Wednesday. Shares had reached as high as nearly $10 after the company announced its new blockchain focus in December.
JPMorgan Faces Suit
Action Alerts PLUS holding JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM - Get Report) could face a class action lawsuit alleging the bank overcharged its credit card customers when the customers used funds to purchase cryptocurrencies, according to Coindesk. The proposed suit is being spearheaded by plaintiff Brady Tucker, who alleged in an April 10 complaint that Chase Bank improperly charged him $143.30 in fees and $20.61 in interest related to cryptocurrency purchases he made using his Chase card. JPMorgan stopped letting customers make crypto purchases on its cards in February. The complaint alleges that the bank started treating cryptocurrency purchases as "cash expenditures" in January without informing Chase cardholders. "The complete lack of fair notice to Chase's cardholder caused them to unknowingly incur millions of dollars in cash advance fees and sky-high interest charges on each and every crypto purchase," the complaint said.
Santander to Launch Ripple App
Santander Group (STUPF) is reportedly planning to launch a blockchain-based application for cross-border foreign exchange payments Friday, according to the Financial Times. The app, which is to be dubbed One Pay FX, will start for Santander customers in Spain, the U.K., Brazil and Poland at first, but availability may soon expand. It is built on distributed ledger technology from Ripple, the startup behind the XRP token, which is currently the third-most-valuable cryptocurrency by market cap. Santander has reportedly been developing the app for two years.
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