Bitcoin started the week strong, gaining as much as 3.1% on Monday, March 5, to sustain what has so far been a five-day trek into the green. For every day in March, bitcoin has moved higher, according to data from Coinmarketcap. The No. 1 cryptocurrency by market cap surpassed the $11,000 mark on Friday, March 2, and has remained well ahead of the benchmark since then.
On Monday, bitcoin was joined by most of the top cryptocurrencies in its gains. Here are the headlines you can't miss to start the week.
PayPal Files Patent
PayPal Holdings Inc. (PYPL) filed a patent with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to increase the speed of cryptocurrency payments. The patent, filed March 1, details an "Expedited Virtual Currency Transaction System" that uses secondary private keys to shorten wait times for transactions between merchants and consumers. PayPal wrote in the patent filing that the goal of the new technology is to speed up transaction times that have previously encouraged potential users to "instead choose to perform the transaction using traditional payment methods rather than virtual currency." According to PayPal, the slow transaction times have been a major hurdle in widespread digital currency adoption.
Ripple Soars on New Rumors
Ripple's XRP cryptocurrency surged Monday on fresh rumors it might be added to the popular Coinbase exchange. In morning trading, Ripple's cross border payment coin XRP jumped as much as 20%. Trading volume spiked to $1.9 billion, crossing the billion-dollar volume threshold for the first time since Sunday, Feb. 18. The price rally comes amid chatter in the cryptocurrency sphere that an upcoming joint appearance from Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse and Coinbase President Asiff Hirji will bring with it an announcement that Coinbase will begin supporting XRP trades, Business Insider reported. Garlinghouse and Hirji are set to both appear on CNBC's Fast Money program on Tuesday, March 6, with two other cryptocurrency experts. It would be an important development for XRP to make it onto Coinbase. Currently, XRP is one of the harder cryptocurrencies to buy and sell due in large part to its relative absence from larger exchanges such as Coinbase.
Webster's Dictionary Goes Crypto
Merriam-Webster added 850 new words to its dictionary this year, and among them are "cryptocurrency," "initial coin offering" and "blockchain." In a release touting the new additions to this year's dictionary, Merriam-Webster offered the following: "The sometimes perplexing domain of digital financial exchanges opens a window into a subject that requires explanation for many of us, hence the detailed definition of cryptocurrency as well as an entry for initial coin offering, which refers to the first sale of Bitcoin-like digital currency. Keeping records of financial transactions in a digital database as part of a publicly accessible network uses blockchain technology. And a rare but non-imaginary unicorn is a start-up that is valued at one billion dollars or more."
GE Joins Consortium
The transportation arm of General Electric Co. (GE) announced it has joined the Blockchain in Transportation Alliance (BiTA). The Alliance includes other well-known companies including JD.com Inc. (JD) , United Parcel Service Inc. (UPS) and FedEx Corp. (FDX) , all of which have joined forces to better implement blockchain technology in the cargo transportation industry. "As GE Transportation extends its capabilities into the broader supply chain, we're connecting partners and customers at every node and across multiple modes," Laurie Tolson, GE Transportation's chief digital officer, said in a statement announcing the tie-in.
Square's Big Surge
Shares of Square Inc. (SQ) rallied on Monday to a record high of $50, up as much as 9.5% during the session. According to a report from Bloomberg citing anonymous traders, the reasoning could be somewhat atypical. The traders said Square's rally could be happening because of an article in a small Latvian publication called Cryptona that said Square is "possibly testing an integration with bitcoin." But that's old news -- Square CEO Jack Dorsey said in January that the company is introducing bitcoin trading for most of its Cash App users. Then on Feb. 27, Dorsey said, "Bitcoin, for us, is not stopping at buying and selling."
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