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Cryptocurrency Price Check: Bitcoin Rises as Lawmakers Gear Up Oversight

Cryptocurrency prices rise at a time when regulators in both the U.S. and China are looking at increased regulation.

Bitcoin was rising Monday after the world's largest cryptocurrency reached its highest level in more than two months.

Bitcoin was up nearly 2% to $45,688, according to CoinDesk, while Ethereum, which was off slightly to $3,113 at last check. Dogecoin fell 2.4% to about 26 cents.

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The surge followed reports of Ethereum network’s London upgrade, which standardizes the way the cryptocurrency is bought and sold, making it harder for miners to charge exorbitant trading fees.

The price increase comes at a time of increased scrutiny of cryptocurrency.

The infrastructure bill that is making its way through Congress would impose federal regulation on cryptocurrencies and expand the number of users who would have to report filings to the Internal Revenue Service.

On Saturday, the U.S. Senate, including 18 Republican senators, passed a procedural vote 67-27 to limit debate and advance the $1 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act toward a final vote.

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Winston Ma, former managing director and head of North America at China Investment Corporation, China’s sovereign wealth fund, said that U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s call last month for stablecoin regulations was echoed last week by Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler. 

Gensler asked lawmakers in prepared remarks to the Aspen Security Forum to give the agency more power to protect investors, saying "frankly, at this time, it’s more like the Wild West.”

"Given the united focus on stablecoins by the US Treasury Department, Federal Reserve and the SEC, stablecoin-related law-making will accelerate in the U.S.," said Ma, author of "The Digital War - How China’s Tech Power Shapes the Future of AI, Blockchain and Cyberspace."

Ma noted that China is also tightening the regulation of stablecoins. 

"The U.S. and China don't agree on much these days," he said, "but on the regulation of stablecoins these two superpowers see eye-to-eye."