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Bitcoin price today: climbs to $66.5k on dollar pullback but still range-bound

Published 24/04/2024, 06:04
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Investing.com-- Bitcoin price rose slightly on Wednesday as an overnight drop in the dollar offered some relief, though persistent fears over higher-for-longer interest rates and dwindling hype over ETFs kept the token in a trading range seen for over a month.

Bitcoin rose 0.6% in the past 24 hours to $66,469.5 by 07:54 ET (11:54 GMT). The token has remained largely within a $60,000 to $70,000 trading range after hitting a record high of over $73,000 in early March.

The world’s largest cryptocurrency also saw limited gains even as technology stocks- which it usually tracks- rebounded sharply this week. 

Bitcoin’s halving event- which saw a 50% reduction in mining rewards- passed over the weekend with little price action. The launch of the ‘Runes’ protocol, which triggered a spike in on-chain activity and pushed transaction fees to record highs- also spurred little change in Bitcoin prices. 

Data earlier this week showed that crypto investment products- specifically Bitcoin exchange-traded funds- saw a second straight week of capital outflows, amid dwindling hype over the U.S. approval of the ETFs earlier this year. 

While the ETF approval had powered Bitcoin to record highs in March, further gains in the token now appeared in doubt. 

Crypto price today: limited price action as rate fears persist

Broader cryptocurrency prices saw limited price action on Wednesday, as the sector was pressured by persistent concerns over higher-for-longer U.S. interest rates.

Ethereum rose 3.1%, while XRP and Solana added 0.05% and 3%, respectively.

While crypto prices had advanced through the first quarter of 2024 on expectations of early interest rate cuts by the Federal Reserve, optimism over such a scenario died out in April. 

Strong inflation readings and hawkish signals from the Fed saw traders price out expectations for a rate cut in June.

Higher-for-longer interest rates bode poorly for crypto, given that the sector usually benefits from increased speculation in a low-rate, high-liquidity environment. 

Focus this week is on more data on the U.S. economy, which is likely to factor into the outlook on interest rates.

Gross domestic product data for the first quarter is due on Thursday, while PCE price index data- the Fed’s preferred inflation gauge- is due on Friday.

Former Binance CEO ‘CZ’ should spend 36 months in prison, says DOJ

The U.S. Department of Justice has recommended a three-year prison sentence for Changpeng "CZ" Zhao, the founder and former CEO of Binance, for his role in the cryptocurrency exchange's violations of federal sanctions and anti-money laundering laws.

The comments were made in a sentencing memo filed by DOJ attorneys on Tuesday night. They also proposed a $50 million fine after Zhao pleaded guilty to breaching the Bank Secrecy Act last November.

In response, Zhao's legal team filed a counter-memo arguing for no prison time. They stressed that "no defendant in a remotely similar BSA case has ever been sentenced to incarceration."

Instead, they proposed probation for Zhao, potentially including home confinement at his residence in Abu Dhabi. The defense highlighted Zhao's payment of a fine and his "extraordinary acceptance of responsibility" as key factors in their argument for leniency.

"The sentence in this case will not just send a message to Zhao but also to the world. Zhao reaped vast rewards for his violation of U.S. law, and the price of that violation must be significant to effectively punish Zhao for his criminal acts and to deter others who are tempted to build fortunes and business empires by breaking U.S. law," stated the filing.

Under the terms of his plea agreement, Zhao initially faced a maximum of 18 months in prison.

However, in their recent filing, the DOJ contended that due to the "massive" scope and ramifications of Zhao's misconduct, "an upward variance is appropriate here."

Both Zhao's defense and the prosecution had previously agreed to a $50 million fine. In addition, Zhao waived his right to appeal any sentence that is 18 months or less.

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