Bitcoin attempts to end tough week on high note

March 17, 2018

Bitcoin prices pushed higher on Friday as the No. 1 digital currency looked to finish the week on a positive note.

A single bitcoin BTCUSD, +0.00% was changing hands at $8,492.06, up 2.2%. This week, bitcoin has dropped nearly 10%, bringing it to a year-to-date loss of around 40%, as March has been a losing month for the No. 1 cryptocurrency.

From exactly a week ago, some $39 billion has been wiped off the market cap of cryptocurrencies, which stood at $325,416,080,764 on Friday, according to CoinMarketCap.

Bitcoin suffered a hefty loss on Wednesday after Alphabet Inc.’s GOOG, -1.20% Google said it would ban cryptocurrency-related advertising and virtual currencies were described as a “crock” at a Senate hearing earlier this week.

The regulatory issue is continuing to dog the industry with both sides pulling in opposite directions.

Among other cryptocurrencies, ether us up 0.2% at $612.59, bitcoin cash is up 8.5% at $1,017.69, Litecoin is higher by 3.3% at $169.77, and Ripple rose 0.7% to 68.9 cents.

Among bitcoin futures, the Cboe Global Markets April contract XBTJ8, +2.90% rose 3.6% to settle at $8,585, while the CME Group’s March contract BTCH8, +3.46% rose 3.9% to close at $8,555.

With the price of bitcoin more halving its all-time high of $19,694.68 reached in mid December, fresh doubts over how profitable it is to mine cropped up.

“Bitcoin currently trades essentially at the break-even cost of mining a bitcoin, currently at $8,038 based on a mining model developed by our data science team,” said Thomas Lee, head of research at Fundstrat Global Advisors.

In calculating that, Fundstrat looks at equipment and electricity costs, plus charges to keep facilities cool. Bitcoin mining has come under fire for the amount of global energy it consumes. According to the Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index, global energy usage of current bitcoin mining is already equal to power uptake of Denmark.

According to research conducted by Elite Fixtures, the cost of mining a bitcoin can cost as little as $531 to as much as $26,170.

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