The world’s largest digital currency bitcoin has soared above the $7,000 mark as the currency has now broken its price record for three consecutive days now. The price of bitcoin has now increased sevenfold from the start of the year and analysts are expecting that bitcoin will reach a value of $10,000 before the end of the year.
Over the past few months, the price of bitcoin has more than doubled, hitting a new high of $7,066.44 on the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp exchange on Thursday. The currency has been on a rally ever since it was announced on Tuesday that bitcoin will be integrated into world’s largest derivatives exchange operator CME Group (CME.O). This has driven the price of the digital currency as institutional investors and traders begin to troop in.
The price has seen bitcoin’s aggregate value, or “market cap” — its price multiplied by the number of bitcoins released into circulation — to more than $117 billion. The total cryptocurrency market value stands at $190 billion at the moment with bitcoin accounting for $117 billion of that. The $190 billion market value of cryptocurrencies is also at an all-time high and it is all thanks to bitcoin.
Financial analysts such as Jamie McGeever of Reuters and Nick Baker of Bloomberg have attributed the recent surge in the price of bitcoin to its introduction into the CME’s exchange launch which will begin in this fourth quarter. The CME group is currently the largest options trading platform in the world with their U.S market currently generating roughly $3.6 billion in revenue annually while they are also controlling around $69 billion in assets.
Institutional and retail investors who couldn’t invest in bitcoin will now be able to do it due to their integration with the CME platform. Big time investor Mark Cuban couldn’t invest in bitcoin directly, rather he invested indirectly last month via XBT Provider which is a bitcoin exchange-traded note (ETN) operator in Nordic Nasdaq, in Sweden. With bitcoin now part of CME, it will be easier for investors like Mark Cuban to invest directly in bitcoin.
Analysts and investors are also hopeful that the bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) will be approved by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) before mid-2018. The optimism comes from the fact performance of LedgerX, a bitcoin options, futures, and derivatives trading platform approved by the US government and also the emergence of CME into the crypto-world.