Bitcoin prices moved higher on Friday, putting the digital currency on track to book a second straight week of gains.

A single bitcoin

BTCUSD, -0.12%

 was fetching $3,851.58, up 0.4% since Thursday’s level at 5 p.m. Eastern time on the Kraken exchange. The cryptocurrency has yet to log back-to-back winning weeks in 2019.

Read: U.S. stocks poised to rally as news of U.S.-China trade talks swirl

What are analysts saying

On Thursday, the ethereum network completed its latest software upgrade, known as Constantinople. The upgrade is intended to speed up processing times to address scalability issues — the ability of a blockchain to process transactions faster and more efficiently.

Analysts at BitOoda, a digital asset advisory firm, attributed the recent rally in Ether above $160 to the growing optimism around the upgrade, but warned investors, the euphoric rally may have come to an end.

“This event driven trade is now over, and in our eyes, it is difficult to come up with any reasonable thesis to have conviction for ETH to trade higher or lower,” wrote Tim Kelly, founder and CEO of BitOoda. “We would be of the opinion to close out of this trade, sit tight, and wait for the next trade opportunity patiently.”

In the news

On Thursday, the New York Times reported that Facebook Inc.

FB, +0.51%

 and other internet companies are planning to launch their own digital currency within the next year. Citing four people brief on the matter, the Times said Facebook had held conversations with exchanges abut listing its coin.

Other companies pursing a potential digital currency are Signal and Telegram, the Times said.

“Truth is, this isn’t that much of a revelation as some are making of it,” wrote Mati Greenspan, senior market analyst at eToro. “The Times tells us that existing messaging platforms with a large user base have a much easier way of implementing new payment systems than those that need to start from scratch.”

Read: Nearly half of all tech executives say the blockchain revolution is coming, survey finds

Altcoins and futures

Altcoins, or digital currencies other than bitcoin, are trading higher on Friday. Ether

ETHUSD, -0.24%

 rose 0.2% to $135.48, Litecoin

LTCUSD, -0.37%

rose 3.9% to $47.59, Bitcoin Cash

BCHUSD, -0.15%

was up 1.2% at $131.10 and XRP

XRPUSD, -0.29%

added 2.4% to 32 cents.

Bitcoin futures closed out Friday on a winning note. The Cboe Global Markets March contract

XBTJ9, +0.79%

 ended up 0.6% at $3,827.50 and the CME Group March contract

BTCH9, +0.79%

 gained 0.7% at $3,820.

Read: The ‘existential threat’ cryptos pose to traditional payments systems ‘bears watching,’ says expert

Providing critical information for the U.S. trading day. Subscribe to MarketWatch’s free Need to Know newsletter. Sign up here.

Source link