Bitcoin saw a modest pullback from its recent record run on Wednesday, but the cryptocurrency enjoyed some upbeat news on the session, with Fidelity Investments announcing that it would start tracking the digital unit for its clients.
A single bitcoin was valued at $3,393.76, off by about 2.5%, based on levels from late Tuesday in New York, according to digital-currency research site Coindesk.com. The total market value for the most popular digital currency was at $55.4 billion, according to CoinMarketcap.com.
Boston-based money-management giant Fidelity Investments said it would, starting Wednesday, enable clients to monitor their digital-currency holdings via their accounts, in partnership with digital-wallet provider Coinbase.
“This is an experiment in the spirit of learning what these crypto assets are like and how our customers may want to interact with them,” Hadley Stern, senior vice president and managing director at Fidelity Labs, the company’s innovation unit, told Reuters.
Fidelity CEO Abigail Johnson has been one of the biggest champions of bitcoin and its underlying blockchain among traditional financial-services companies. Digital-currency blockchains refer to the peer-to-peer digital network designed to transfer and track ownership of he currency.
Recognition by mature, Wall Street enterprises has appeared to both help support demand and reaffirm to some the growing legitimacy of virtual monetary units, even if they are not totally understood or used by average investors.
Bitcoin and its virtual ilk have drawn increased attention from businesses and regulators in recent months, which may also account for its record rally in 2017. Bitcoin’s value has surged by 250% since the start of the year, compared with a 10.5% year-to-date rise for the S&P 500 index
and a nearly 12% gain for the Dow Jones Industrial Average
Rising geopolitical tensions, headlined by North Korea threatening to launch a ballistic-missile attack against U.S. territory Guam, didn’t appear to influence digital currency moves Wednesday.
Read: Guam’s governor: ‘There is no threat’ but American island ‘will be defended’
Elsewhere in digital currencies, the ethereum network’s ether token bought $299.77, up 6.7% from its levels late Tuesday in New York. Ether’s total value was at about $28.2 billion.
Meanwhile, Bitcoin Cash was down about 7% at $308.79, compared with its late-Tuesday value. The new digital currency, which emerged out of the original bitcoin Aug. 1, is the result of a small faction of bitcoin developers’ demand for a version of the currency that allowed for so-called miners, who support the unit, to process transactions in larger increments. The currency is presently the fourth-largest cryptocurrency, with a value at $5 billion.
Also read: Meet Bitcoin Cash — the new digital-currency that surged 122% in less than a day