Bitcoin’s price climbed higher in early Thursday trading, hitting $43,282 at noon. The digital currency is up about 3.3 percent over the prior 24 hours, according to data from CoinMarketCap.
On Thursday, Russia’s central bank proposed banning the use and mining of cryptocurrencies in the country, naming the risks of financial stability, money laundering and monetary sovereignty as reasons. Meanwhile, the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee is discussing the energy impacts of blockchain, the technology that powers cryptocurrency.
Bitcoin was among many cryptocurrencies that rose early Thursday, despite potential challenges.
Ethereum was trading at $3,248 at midday, about 5 percent higher from the prior day. The digital currency set an all-time high above $4,800 in November, but its price has fallen steadily through December and into January.
Cryptocurrency Cosmos, its native token known as ATOM, soared 13.2 percent over the prior 24 hours to $41.82. Meanwhile, Solana was up 4.5 percent to $142.69.
Bitcoin’s recent trend has been downward
Bitcoin’s price has been under pressure since the Federal Reserve’s early November meeting, when the central bank announced that it would begin tapering its purchases of bonds, reducing stimulus in the financial system.
That downtrend continued through much of December and into January. After peaking above $51,000 in late December, the digital currency fell to about $41,000 in early January and has spent the past couple weeks hovering in the low $40,000 range around $42,000, as the market looks for direction.
The near-term prospects for cryptocurrency may not be so rosy, either, if the market is looking to depend on liquidity from the Federal Reserve. At its December meeting, the Fed announced that it was increasing the pace of its taper, purchasing even fewer bonds than it had projected in November. The new pace means the Fed will stop buying bonds by March 2022.
From there, the Fed has said that it will eventually raise interest rates, as conditions warrant.
“With inflation having exceeded 2 percent for some time, the committee expects it will be appropriate to maintain this target range until labor market conditions have reached levels consistent with the Committee’s assessments of maximum employment,” said the Federal Open Market Committee in a prepared statement.
Bitcoin peaked at $68,990.90 in early November, but the price has steadily weakened since then. Nevertheless, Bitcoin remains atop the list of most valuable cryptocurrencies by total value.