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Crypto Surge Cools as Bitcoin Inches Below $7,500

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Bitcoin was trading at $7,422.80, inching down 0.05% on the Bitfinex exchange, as of 8:29 AM ET (12:29 GMT). The digital asset was below its Wednesday high of $7,506.10.

Cryptocurrencies overall were lower. The coin market cap of total market capitalization inched down to $291 billion at the time of writing compared to $296 billion on Wednesday.

Ethereum fell 3.56% to $481.81 on the Bitfinex exchange. Ripple, the third largest virtual currency, decreased 4.58% to $0.48949 while Litecoin was at $87.699, down 4.25%.

Meanwhile, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell told Congress on Wednesday there are significant risks to alternative currencies.

“Cryptocurrencies are great if you’re trying to hide money or if you’re trying to launder money. It doesn’t really have any intrinsic value so I think there are investor or consumer protection issues as well,” he told the House Financial Services committee.

The central banker reiterated an earlier report from the Financial Stability Board that found virtual currencies do not pose a risk to global financial stability. In other news, Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC) and Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) are seeking blockchain-related patents, just a day after news that Mastercard filed a patent to shorten Bitcoin transaction times.

Wells Fargo’s patent is a system that allows a data element, such as a document, to be located and accessed via token encryption. Bank of America filed for a system that would allow external validation of data. Still, while the two banks are embracing blockchain, which is the technology behind cryptos like Bitcoin, they have banned digital coin purchase via their credit cards.

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