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Markets: Bitcoin dips, Ether little changed; Huobi Token surges amid stake sale speculation

Bitcoin fell while Ethereum traded little changed on Friday afternoon in Asia. Huobi Token, the native coin of China crypto exchange Huobi, jumped 18.9% in the last 24 hours after Bloomberg reported its founder was seeking to sell a majority stake in the business.

See related article: Markets: Bitcoin, Ether retreat as investors digest inflation, Blackrock developments

Fast facts

  • Bitcoin was trading at US$23,946, down 2.1% in the prior 24 hours as of 4 p.m. in Hong Kong, while Ethereum dipped 0.47% to change hands at US$1,886, according to data from CoinMarketCap.

  • Support for both major tokens seemed to fizzle out ahead of the weekend after gaining ground earlier in the week on data showing a slower inflation reading in the U.S. and the announcement overnight that asset manager BlackRock was setting up a Bitcoin investment fund.

  • Ethereum Classic, the coin from the original network before Ethereum’s previous hard fork, gained 8.18% to US$41.6, reflecting interest ahead of Ethereum’s “Merge”.

  • Huobi Token, issued by one of the largest crypto exchanges, was changing hands at US$5.26, up 18.67% after Bloomberg reported that Huobi Group founder Leon Li is in talks to sell his majority stake in the exchange to a number of investors at a valuation of as much as US$3 billion.

  • Justin Sun, founder of blockchain Tron, and the crypto exchange FTX are reportedly among those who are in talks with Li.

  • Sun said on Twitter that “We have not engaged (in) any matters related to the Bloomberg story at this moment.” FTX declined to comment, according to Bloomberg.

  • Tron, the 17th largest crypto by market cap, edged down 0.46% to US$0.07044, and the FTX Token fell 4.27% to trade at US$30.58.

  • Asia equity markets had a mixed day. The Nikkei 225 closed up 2.62%, while the Shanghai Composite index was little changed at 0.15% lower. The Hong Kong Hang Seng index nudged up a slight 0.46%.

See related article: BlackRock backflips on Bitcoin as latest institution to see promise in crypto