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Crypto Continues to Gain Steam; Bitcoin Nears $9,000 Level - Bitcoin continued to rise and other top cryptocurrencies also traded higher on Tuesday morning in Asia.

Bitcoin was up 0.86% to $8,751.6 by 11:56 PM ET (02:56 AM GMT), not far from the one-year high of $8,902.8 reached on Monday.

Ethereum gained 1.52% to $270.44, XRP traded 4.89% higher to $0.4307 and Litecoin rose 2.50% to $115.735.

A European Central Bank official on Monday highlighted the benefits of digital currencies, but warned that investors need to remain cautious.

These digital tokens should serve as a medium of exchange, a means of payment and a store of value, according to Vitas Vasiliauskas, a member of the Governing Council of the ECB. They should also reflect qualities of the current forms of central bank money, but not a conventional reserve account or a private crypto asset.

With central bank digital currencies, payments and securities settlements could be more efficient and counterparty credit and liquidity risks could be lower, he said.

But Vasiliauskas also warned of the risk. “The amount of cash in circulation is declining in some countries. This could mean that one day, even if it seems like a distant prospect — every single person will have to have an account with a private entity just to make payments. Unfortunately, this may lead to increased levels of financial exclusion,” he added.

In other news, a new crypto exchange backed by tech giant Yahoo (NASDAQ:AABA) Japan will go live on Thursday.

Known as Taotao, the new platform will offer trading in Bitcoin and Ethereum, then XRP, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash later on. Yahoo Japan is said to have bought a 40-percent stake in the company last March.

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