Bitcoin adds 4% as BlackRock reportedly mulling crypto venture

Bitcoin began the week on the front foot, climbing as much as 4% as it was learned that the world’s largest asset manager is reportedly considering a push into the digital currency market.

The Financial News reported Monday that BlackRock, which has more than $6 trillion under management, has put together a team to explore potential investments in digital currencies and blockchain, the underlying technology that drives cryptocurrencies.

Cryptocurrencies are in the midst of a tough run, with bitcoin, the worlds largest digital currency, down more than 50% year to date as it grapples with widespread adoption. A move by BlackRock would be a major coup for proponents.

“It makes sense given recent market action,” said Mati Greenspan, senior market analyst at eToro. “In November as prices were moving higher firms like the CboeCBOE, +1.29%  were in a rush to get on the train, but now that things have quieted down, traditional investment firms are beginning to dip their toes into the space.”

The news pushed the price of bitcoinBTCUSD, +3.91% above $6,500, trading to an intraday high of $6,655.58. A single bitcoin last changed hands at $6,602.05, up 3.6% since Sunday 5 p.m. Eastern Time on the Kraken crypto exchange.

Bitcoin has dragged altcoins, smaller coins alternative to bitcoin, higher, which has seen the value of all cryptocurrencies increase $10 billion to $266 billion, according to data from Coinmarketcap.

EtherETHUSD, +4.46% the coin that runs on the Ethereum network, is up 3.6% at $472.86, Bitcoin CashBCHUSD, +7.14% has gained 5.8% to $767.50, LitecoinLTCUSD, +4.40% is up 4.4% at $82.63 and Ripple’s XRPXRPUSD, +3.92% coin is trading at 46 cents, up 4.5%.

Bitcoin futures are tracking spot prices higher in early Monday trading. The Cboe July bitcoin futures contractXBTN8, +6.99%is up 6.7% at $6,604.50, while the CME July contractBTCN8, +7.22%is up 7.1% at $6,605.

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