Published: Apr 17, 2018 8:43 a.m. ET Distributed ledger technology could improve efficiency in financial markets, Lagarde says The No. 1 digital currency regained ground Tuesday, after some upbeat news from the head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) pushed bitcoin back above $8,000.

The price of a single bitcoin

BTCUSD, +1.40%

 was last valued at $8,109.29, up 0.7% on the day and off its early morning low of $7,972.55. The digital-currency community got some good news late Monday when the head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) outlined the benefits of bitcoin and the blockchain technology.

In a blog post, Christine Lagarde said cryptocurrencies have the power to minimize transaction costs, while the technology that underlines the cryptocurrencies could improve efficiency and increase safety. “Crypto-assets enable fast and inexpensive financial transactions, while offering some of the convenience of cash.

Some payment services now make overseas transfers in a matter of hours, not days,” Lagarde wrote in the April 16 post. “The underlying technology of crypto-assets—distributed ledger technology, or DLT—could help financial markets function more efficiently.

Self-executing and self-enforcing “smart contracts” could eliminate the need for some intermediaries.” Lagarde’s comments come as digital currencies are making a comeback; bitcoin rose by as much as 20% last week, recording back-to-back weekly gains for the first time since 2017. The outperformance of altcoins, or alternatives to bitcoin, is a good sign, says one industry participant. Read more from…

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