Bitcoin treads water, struggles for fresh catalyst

Most digital currency prices traded near break-even levels reached after the Securities and Exchange declared that bitcoin and Ether dont warrant the type of regulatory scrutiny that traditional securities are subject.

A single bitcoin
BTCUSD, -0.65%
last changed hands at $6,723.53, unchanged since Monday 5 p.m. Eastern Time on the Kraken crypto exchange.

The total value of all cryptocurrencies remains below $300 billion, last valued at $292 billion, slightly above last Thursdays $290 billion peak, according to data from Coinmarketcap.com.

Last week, the SEC said bitcoin and Ether shouldnt be labeled as securities, marking a victory for digital-currency enthusiasts who said that conventional securities laws shouldnt apply to those assets that operate on the decentralized ledger, the technological backbone that underpins cryptocurrencies like bitcoin or Ether, among others.

However, the enthusiasm around that win hasnt immediately catalyzed into a more substantial price swing for bitcoin or the broader virtual-asset complex, market participants said.

We just appear to be back in a state of fluctuation, said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at Oanda. Whether its really good news or not may depend on how clear the ruling was for cryptocurrencies and the level of regulation people want. Im not convinced its enough of a bullish catalyst to have a great impact on prices at the moment.

Read: BIS warns that wide bitcoin adoption could break the internet

Altcoins showing life

Coins alternative to bitcoin, known as altcoins, are outperforming bitcoin in early Tuesday trading.

Ether
ETHUSD, +1.85%
has risen 3% to $534.32, Bitcoin Cash
BCHUSD, -0.19%
is up 1.2% at $898.00, Litecoin
LTCUSD, -2.12%
has gained 0.7% to $100.14 and XRP
XRPUSD, +0.05%
the coin that runs on the Ripple protocol is trading at 55 cents, up 0.8%.

Futures are showing small gains to start Tuesday. The Cboe July futures contract
XBTN8, +0.07%
is up 0.7% at $6,750, while the CME June contract
BTCM8, +0.15%
is 0.4% higher at $6,720.

CryptoWatch: Check bitcoin and other cryptocurrency prices, performance and market capitalizationall on one

Aaron Hankin

Aaron Hankin is a MarketWatch reporter in New York who covers cryptocurrency and financial markets.

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Quote References BTCUSD -43.47 -0.65% ETHUSD +9.61 +1.85% BCHUSD -1.70 -0.19% LTCUSD -2.10 -2.12% XRPUSD +0.00 +0.05% XBTN8 +5.00 +0.07% BTCM8 +10.00 +0.15% Show all references
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