Investing.com - Cryptocurrencies rallied on Thursday, with Bitcoin inching up ahead of a speech from a Security and Exchange Commission official on digital currencies.
Bitcoin was trading at $6,497.90, rising 0.37% the Bitfinex exchange, as of 8:59 AM ET (12:59 GMT).
Other digital coins were higher on Thursday, with Ethereum, the world’s second largest cryptocurrency by market cap, rising 1.22% to $484.15 on the Bitfinex exchange. Ripple, the third largest virtual currency, increased 1.96% to $0.54767 while Litecoin was at $97.086 up 1.44%.
Still, cryptocurrency prices were much lower this week, with the coin market cap of total market capitalization at $281 billion at the time of writing compared to an almost two month high of $302 billion on Tuesday.
William Hinman, an SEC official considered the point-person regarding bitcoin, is schedule to speak on the U.S. government’s rules around cryptos and initial coin offerings in San Francisco at 12:35 PM ET (16:35 GMT).
Hinman is expected to address uncertainty around regulation in the U.S. of alternative currencies, including whether they qualify as securities and if ICOs are required to register with the SEC.
As Bitcoin and other digital coins have risen in popularity, governments around the world have struggled to regulate the alternative currencies.
Meanwhile a research paper from the University of Texas claims that Tether was used to manipulate the peak of Bitcoin in December also remained in back of investor’s minds.
The researchers used millions of transaction records to spot patterns, specifically the flow of Tether, which is tied to the value of the dollar and issued by Bitfinex. Half of the increase in Bitcoin prices in 2017 occurred just hours after Tether moved to other exchanges, the paper states.
Concerns that Bitfinex was manipulating Bitcoin surfaced early in the year. Bitfinex has denied it manipulated the price of the cryptocurrency.