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Bitcoin Gains Despite Congress Study into Crypto

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Prices of major digital coins went up on Wednesday in Asia despite reports that the U.S. Congress passed a bill to study cryptocurrencies to stop them from being used for sex and drug trafficking.

On Jan. 28, the House of Representatives passed a bill to look into the role of cryptocurrencies in facilitating sex and drug trafficking in order to recommend regulatory and legislative actions that would stop such illicit use. Known as “The Fight Illicit Networks and Detect Trafficking Act of 2019 (H.R. 502)”, the bill won bipartisan approval. Congressman Juan Vargas from California endorsed the bill.

“If we are to craft effective regulatory and legislative solutions to combat these transnational criminal organizations, we need to fully study and analyze how virtual currencies and online marketplaces are used to facilitate sex and drug trafficking, to determine how best to eliminate their use,” Vargas said in a speech to the House.

The news did not affect the prices of cryptocurrencies that much on Wednesday morning though. Instead, Bitcoin gained 0.32% to $3,427 by 11:11 PM ET (04:11 GMT).

Ethereum edged up 0.89% to $105.35, XRP was up 0.34% to $ 0.29032, and Litecoin added 1.13% to $31.05.

Crypto prices have been on a downward trajectory. The total coin market capitalization tumbled to $112.8 billion, compared to $120.15 billion on Friday.

In other news, the Central Bank of Iran was said to be considering opinions from experts before it finalizes crypto regulations. According to Al Jazeera, Iranian regulators recognize cryptocurrencies and licensed trading but are still not allowing the digital currency to be used as a payment method inside the country.