Investing.com - Cryptocurrency prices continued to climb on Friday as investors who appeared to shun U.S. equities took interest in digital assets forming a crypto-Christmas rally that stock holders could envy.
Bitcoin rose 0.3% to $4,028.80 on the Investing.com Index as of 9:53 AM ET (14:53 GMT), pushing its gains during the last seven days to a stellar 25%.
Ethereum, or Ether, increased 5.7% to $114.83, chalking up about a 36% increase since last Friday and Litecoin was at $31.86, up 2.0%, or while XRP advanced 0.6% to $0.37261, pocketing a seven-day rise of 25%.
Digital coins had fallen dramatically in prior weeks as traders worried about increased regulatory scrutiny and volatility, but appeared to be making a strong comeback this week.
Total coin market capitalization had soared to $134.3 billion at the time of writing, compared to $104 billion on Sunday.
No specific driver was cited as the cause of the recovery although speculation remained that increased scrutiny in the U.S. might eventually lead to the Securities and Exchange Commission’s approval of a Bitcoin ETF.
Thursday saw news that two crypto firms - CoinVantage, formerly a subsidiary of accounting firm MG Stover, and Picks & Shovels - were merging in an effort to facilitate crypto-asset management for institutional players.
Even with this week’s gains, cryptocurrencies remain deep in bear market territory for 2018. As an example, Bitcoin, the number one digital asset by market cap, is down 70% from its 2017 closing price of $13,800, to say nothing of the plunge from its all-time high near $20,000.