Cryptos Fall as Russia Looks To Blockchain to Replace SWIFT

4 April 2018, 20: 02
© Reuters.  Bitcoin was lower on Wednesday. © Reuters. Bitcoin was lower on Wednesday.

Bitcoin and other virtual coins were lower on Wednesday, as Russia explores blockchain technology in a bid to reduce dependence on SWIFT, a worldwide interbank exchange.

Bitcoin was trading at $7,052.10, decreasing 3.73% as of 8:39 AM ET (12:39 GMT) the Bitfinex exchange. The virtual currency is far from its peak of $20,000 in December 2017 and has struggled to recover since falling below $6,000 in February.

Russian officials said on Wednesday they are looking at blockchain technology that would give them the same benefits as SWIFT. With tensions rising in the West and the UK long advocating for Russia to be removed from the network, Russia is turning its sights to ledger technology. Ledger technology or blockchain, is the technology behind cryptocurrencies.

Meanwhile, trading firms have been conducting over the counter virtual currency trades for the past five years over Skype in order to avoid moving the market, Reuters reported.

The group includes around 20 traders and clients such as investors, bitcoin miners, hedge funds and payment processors. Some dealers handle more than $100 million in cryptocurrency trades per day.

In other news, Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL) has banned mining programs from its Chrome store, which use the processing power of users to mine cryptocurrency without their consent, the firm said.

The news follows Google banning all virtual coin and initial coin offering-related ads.Twitter and Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) have also banned digital coin related ads.

Other virtual currencies were down, with rival Ethereum, the world’s second largest cryptocurrency by market cap, falling 3.75% to $384.00 on the Bitfinex exchange. Ripple, the third largest virtual currency, decreased 4.77% to $0.50074 while $$$/LTCwas at $120.82, a decline of 2.02%.