LONDON (Reuters) – Bitcoin rocketed above $15,000 for the primary time on Thursday, after including greater than $2,000 to its worth in fewer than 12 hours.
Bitcoin, the world’s largest and best-known cryptocurrency, has seen a greater than fifteenfold surge in its worth for the reason that begin of the yr.
It climbed to as excessive as $15,344 on the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp trade round 1420 GMT, leaving it up greater than 12 % on the day, having traded simply above $13,000 12 hours earlier BTC=BTSP.
Many market-watchers mentioned the launch this weekend of bitcoin futures by CBOE, one of many world’s largest derivatives exchanges, was serving to drive up the worth on expectations it might draw extra buyers to the market.
“Futures buying and selling will imply extra demand…and is a type of ratification of the underlying tech – bitcoin and cryptocurrencies normally. They’re now on the principle stage,” mentioned Charles Hayter, founding father of cryptocurrency knowledge evaluation agency Cryptocompare.
However some are warning that the launch of bitcoin futures, which is able to enable buyers to take speculative “brief” positions on the cryptoccurrency, in addition to “lengthy” positions, might trigger even higher volatility.
“Aggressive merchants, akin to hedge funds and algorithm-driven funds, (can be in a position) to make use of this futures market to enter bitcoin buying and selling with excessive ranges of liquidity for aggressive short-selling and knock the costs actually low,” mentioned Suppose Markets analyst Naeem Aslam.
“Gamers now have an incentive to be on the brief facet and make earnings hedging towards the upside.”
The most recent surge introduced bitcoin’s “market cap” – its worth multiplied by the whole variety of bitcoins in circulation – to greater than $260 billion, in response to Coinmarketcap, a commerce web site. That, in principle, makes its market worth greater than that of Visa.
The worth of all cryptocurrencies now stands at round $415 billion, in response to Coinmarketcap.
Bitcoin has greater than tripled in worth for the reason that begin of October, placing it on monitor for its finest quarter for the reason that finish of 2013, when it surged above $1,000 for the primary time.
It slumped in 2014, after Mt Gox, then the world’s largest bitcoin trade, collapsed, saying it had been hacked and had 650,000 bitcoins stolen.
Reporting by Jemima Kelly, Modifying by Abhinav Ramnarayan
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