Bitcoin prices tumbled by as much as 8% on Wednesday to significantly below the $9,000 threshold, trading at about the $8,300 mark as of 4 p.m. ET. the cryptocurrency has been on a steady decline since dropping beneath the $10,000 mark last Saturday.
Here's the latest crypto news:
Allianz Global: Crypto Is 'Worthless' and a 'Bubble'
Analysts at Allianz Global Investors said in a recent note that cryptocurrency is worthless, regardless of how impactful its underlying blockchain technology is. "In our view, its intrinsic value must be zero," Allianz said. "A bitcoin is a claim on nobody -- in contrast to, for instance, sovereign bonds, equities or paper money -- and it does not generate any income stream." Analysts added that bitcoin "ticks all the boxes" to classify as a textbook bubble, such as overtrading, "new era" thinking and increasing leverage. They also said the bubble is "one that is probably just about to burst."
Congressional Hearing Heats Up
The U.S. House of Representatives' Capital Markets, Securities and Investment subcommittee raised big questions about cryptocurrencies during a hearing Wednesday on the segment. During the testimony peppered with expert sources fielding questions, Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-Ill.) said that Congress "has a responsibility to ensure that investors are protected without unduly preventing growth," according to Coindesk. Rep. Tom Emmer (R-Minn.) said that cryptocurrencies constitute "a huge topic that cannot possibly be scratched [in] five minutes." The hearing ultimately did little to reach conclusions on regulation for cryptocurrencies. However, the subcommittee did express a willingness to balance both oversight and accommodation of the nascent digital-currency space. Wednesday's hearing was the latest in a string of such gatherings in Congress, which has been weighing the importance of regulation in the cryptocurrency space for a number of weeks.
Playboy to Accept Crypto Payments
Adult-content network Playboy TV announced Wednesday that it plans to begin accepting cryptocurrencies as payment from users looking to access exclusive content. Playboy said it plans to roll out a dedicated cryptocurrency wallet by the end of the year, initially accepting a new cryptocurrency called the Vice Industry Token. Vice Industry Token is currently being issued through an initial coin offering that ends next week. "As the popularity of alternative payment methods continues to grow around the world, along with the reach Playboy's digital platforms, we felt it was important to give our 100 million monthly consumers increased payment flexibility," Playboy Enterprises said.
Report: Fla. State Employee Allegedly Mined Crypto at Work
A Florida State Department of Citrus employee has been arrested for allegedly using computers at work to mine cryptocurrencies, according to the Tampa Bay Times. Matthew McDermott was reportedly arrested for using state-owned computers to mine energy-sucking cryptocurrencies at his job in the agency's IT department. He is charged with grand theft and official misconduct. The Citrus Department's utility bill had apparently surged by over 40% from October 2017 to January 2018, a period during which McDermott allegedly mined bitcoin and litecoin, according to the paper. He also allegedly purchased $22,000 worth of graphics processing units on the state department's account. The Times said these are sometimes used in crypto mining.
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