Bitcoin Struggles to Hold Gains, Ethereum Eases From Record High

Bitcoin Struggles to Hold Gains, Ethereum Eases From Record High

© Reuters.  © Reuters. – Bitcoin fell on Wednesday amid negative commentary from Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen asserting that bitcoin is “a highly speculative asset”, while Ethereum continued to add gains amid signs of growing demand.

On the U.S.-based Bitfinex exchange, fell to $16,247, down $718, or 4.23% after hitting an all-time high of $17,579 on Tuesday. The popular digital currency market cap fell to $275.64 billion.

“Bitcoin at this time plays a very small role in the payment system. It is not a stable source of value and it does not constitute legal tender. It is a highly speculative asset,” said Federal Reserve chair Yellen, answering a question by CNBC’s Steve Liesman.

Yellen’s comments come in the wake of surge in the popular digital currency after it bitcoin futures continued debuted on the CBOE platform on Sunday, ahead of the ahead of CME Group’s launch of bitcoin futures slated for Dec. 18.

The launch of futures trading has drawn a mixed reaction from investors, as it provides market participants with the option to place bearish bets on bitcoin, which could pressure the price of digital currency. Other market participants believe, however, that the launch of futures paves the way for bitcoin to become an established asset class, which would spur institutional demand.

fell 0.54% to $1,560, while , the second largest cryptocurrency by market cap, rose 5.05% to $666, easing from an all-time high of $744.69.

The sharp uptick in ethereum comes as reports emerged this week that Swiss banking giant UBS would lead an Ethereum-based blockchain platform.

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