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July 19, 2019
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Bitcoin Price Pushes Higher as Tether Approaches Parity

Bitcoin’s price rose late Sunday, joining in on a broad market rally fueled by competitor bitcoin cash. Meanwhile, Tether’s USDT stablecoin pared losses to return to within half a percent of parity against the U.S. dollar.

BTC/USD Update

The bitcoin price reached a high of $6,500 on Sunday, marking the first such instance since Wednesday. At the time of writing, bitcoin was up 1.5% to $6,458. Although price action was mostly lower last week, BTC has held relatively steady since mid-October.

Trading activity has picked up in the last 24 hours, with virtual currency exchanges processing $4.4 billion worth of BTC transactions. That represents an increase of 19%. BitMEX, a popular derivatives platform, was the largest market, processing more than 16% of total transactions. Bithumb was second with 8% of the total volume.

Bitcoin was late to the rally on Sunday as coin values across the top ten rose markedly earlier in the weekend. Bitcoin cash was the most notable gainer as investors loaded up on BCH ahead of an anticipated hard fork in roughly 11 days.

Rebounding prices across the altcoin universe pushed bitcoin’s dominance rate back below 53% on Sunday. At press time, BTC’s market cap of $112.1 billion accounted for 52.8% of the entire cryptocurrency market.

Tether Approaches Parity

Tether’s dollar-pegged USDT token fell by as much as 5% on Sunday before paring losses later in the day. At the time of writing, USDT was valued at $0.9984, bringing its total market cap to nearly $1.8 billion. Trade volumes in the coin surpassed $3 billion for the first time in nearly three weeks.

USDT has stoked heavy volatility in the bitcoin market over the past month amid signs that Tether was removing tokens from circulation. This came to a head on Oct. 15 when USDT crashed on major exchanges, triggering a sharp spike in the bitcoin price and heavy premiums on platforms like Bitfinex. Despite the initial gain, bitcoin would spend the next three weeks locked in a narrow range as trade volumes plunged. Some have attributed the extreme drop in volume to declining demand for USDT.

Facing negative backlash from investors and increased competition from more credible stablecoins, Tether produced evidence of its dollar-backed reserves being held in Deltec Bank & Trust, a Bahamas-based bank. While this isn’t the full audit that market participants have been waiting for, it appears to have shored up confidence in the stablecoin.

At this point in time, USDT remains the tenth largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization with a daily turnover that exceeds all other coins except bitcoin. In terms of daily trade volume, USDT accounts for roughly 21% of total market turnover, according to CoinMarketCap.

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

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