First Mover Americas: Bitcoin Ending Week on Positive Note

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Despite some volatility in price, bitcoin has risen 7% in the past seven days, trading in a range of between $27,000 and $30,000. The world’s largest cryptocurrency by market value rose 1.2% over the last 24 hours to $29,307. Some analysts say instability in traditional banks has helped bitcoin, which is seen as an alternative to traditional finance. One troubled bank is San Francisco-based First Republic Bank (FRC), whose shares dropped 50% on Tuesday after it revealed its deposits fell by $100 billion in the first quarter. That comes as the broader economy is slowing down. On Thursday, the Commerce Department said the U.S. economy grew at a 1.1% annualized rate in the first quarter, below analysts’ estimates of 1.9%.

The European Central Bank wants its centralized-financial settlement systems to better interact with distributed ledger technology, as it seeks to keep pace with technological developments in financial markets. The ECB is pondering whether to issue a retail central bank digital currency for use by regular traders and citizens – but it also wants to be able to interact with innovations in wholesale financial markets, including those that use the technology that underpins cryptocurrencies.

Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange by trading volume, is set to begin operations in Japan, according to a notice published on Friday. In November, Binance acquired the regulated Sakura Exchange BitCoin. Existing services on SEBC will be terminated on May 31, and Binance will start a new service called “Binance Japan” after June. SEBC now supports 11 trading pairs. Listing tokens on exchanges in Japan requires vetting by the Japan Virtual Currency Exchange Association.

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Edited by Mark Nacinovich.

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