Russia said on Tuesday it would block access to websites of exchanges that offer cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin. (File photo)
Bitcoin prices rallied close to all-time highs on Tuesday as investors shrugged off news that Russia will block access to websites of exchanges that offer cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.
On the U.S.-based Bitfinex exchange, Bitcoin rose to $4884.2, up $101.9, or 2.13%. Bitcoin is just shy of its recent peak of $4,969 with a market cap of about $81 billion.
“We cannot stand apart. We cannot give direct and easy access to such dubious instruments for retail (investors)”, First Deputy Governor Sergei Shvetsov said on Tuesday.
Segei’s comments caused a flash crash in Bitcoin as the digital currency fell more than $600 in just a few minutes. However, not every exchange showed the flash-crash, as Bitcoin resumed its rally to session highs.
The sharp rally in Bitcoin comes a month after China clamped down on Bitcoin-related activity, ordering domestic Bitcoin exchanges to cease operations.
In other cryptocurrency news, Bitcoin Cash rose 0.90%, to $315.30, while Ethereum, the second largest cryptocurrency by market cap, added 1.61% to $302.34.
The market cap of both Bitcoin Cash and Ethereum is well below that of Bitcoin at $5.3 billion and $28.81 billion, respectively.