Bitcoin Holds, Ethereum Surges As Biden Appoints Cryptocurrency-Savvy Gary Gensler To Lead Financial Policy Transition Team

Bitcoin held on to its gains above the $15,000 psychological mark, up 0.6% at press time early Wednesday, as a former public official who is considered to be cryptocurrency-savvy was appointed to lead the financial policy transition team for President-elect Joe Biden.

What Happened: Former Chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission Gary Gensler has been appointed to lead the financial policy transition team for President-elect Joe Biden, CoinDesk reported Tuesday.
Gensler has studied cryptocurrency closely and earlier testified before the Congress — advocating against comparisons between cryptocurrencies and Ponzi schemes.

Meanwhile, the deposit contract for Ethereum 2.0 has reached over 50,000 ETH or 10% of the required needed to usher in the new update, according to CoinDesk.

The Vitalik Buterin-created cryptocurrency is making a move away from proof-of-work to a model that supports proof-of-stake.

In order to become a validator on the new network, an Ethereum user must stake a minimum of 32 ETH. Once the new network goes live the validators will start earning block rewards to the tune of 8-15% annually, CoinDesk reported.

Ethereum (ETH) traded 3.73% higher at $460.68 at press time, Chainlink (LINK) traded 3.55% higher at $13.13 and XRP traded 1.62% higher at $0.255.

Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Monero (XMR) were outliers to the upward movements of the altcoins declining 2.18% and 0.93% to $257.45 and $115.83, respectively.

Why It Matters: Analysts pointed to institutional interest in the cryptocurrency space and the bullish movement of these assets overall, CoinDesk reported separately.

Bitcoin has returned 114.94% returns and Ethereum has shot up 254.26% on a year-to-date basis. 

“Various institutions are committing to new products and R&D and giving a new set of investors more comfort that the space is maturing,” Brian Mosoff, CEO of Ether Capital, told CoinDesk.

“BTC is digesting the recent confusing macro and political events and consolidating before its next move,” said Jean-Marc Bonnefous, managing partner at Tellurian Capital, as per CoinDesk.

Bonnefous noted the rotation from BTC to decentralized finance (DeFi), which he said was in “full swing now” and was “typical of traders redeploying capital to higher yielding assets.”

Price Action: Bitcoin traded 0.59% higher at $15,389.19 at press-time.

© 2020 Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.