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Bitcoin Rises to $7,000; Barclays Exploring Crypto

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies gained ground on Tuesday as Bitcoin rallied over $7,000. Bitcoin was up 1.39%, recovering to a two-day high of $7,081.90 on the Bitfinex exchange, as of 8:10 AM ET (12:10 GMT). Cryptocurrencies overall were slightly higher. The coin market cap of total market capitalization was at $256 billion at the time of writing, compared to $253 billion on Monday. Ethereum, the second-biggest alternative currency by market cap, rose 0.44% to $409.54 on the Bitfinex exchange. Ripple, the third-largest virtual currency, decreased 3.59% to $0.41177, while Litecoin was at $74.760, up 0.95%. U.K.-based bank Barclays (LON:BARC) is exploring how it can trade cryptocurrencies, according to Barron's. Two employees are working on a project to integrate virtual currencies into the banks trading operations, according to their LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD) profiles, Barrons reported. but Barclays told Coinbase that the bank has no plans right now to build a digital coin trading desk. Other financial institutions are also looking into using cryptocurrencies and blockchain, the technology behind digital coins. On Monday, news broke that Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) is exploring ways to offer custody for crypto funds. In other news, Arizona established the first regulatory sandbox for financial technology in the U.S. on Friday. Regulatory sandboxes are often used for startups and other companies to explore new innovations while under the close supervision of regulators. “Arizona’s FinTech Sandbox provides much needed relief for entrepreneurs by lifting some regulations and allowing innovative products and services to be live-tested in a marketplace limited to a capped number of consumers,” a press release from the Arizona Attorney General’s office stated.

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