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Bitcoin and Other top Cryptocurrencies hit Record-High

By Patrick Higgins  |  01/11/2017 15:26
The aggregate value of cryptocurrencies has skyrocketed to $184 billion after Chicago-based CME Group announced that futures on bitcoins would be offered by the end of the year.

The statement on bitcoin futures from CME Group, the most valuable exchange operator in the world, puts it into competition with fellow Chicago-based operator Cboe Global Markets, which announced its intention to launch bitcoin derivatives back in August. Both operators, however, still need to secure contractual approval from the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission in order to move forward with their plans.

CME said it intended to provide the same importance to bitcoin futures as it does to those futures geared towards traditional currency, commodities, and stock index futures. The futures contract will be cash-settled and based on the daily-updated CME CF Bitcoin Reference Rate.

The first such move into financial regularity for bitcoin has caused the price of Bitcoin to surge to an all-time high of $6,450, and its market cap has risen to $110 billion.

The latest explosion in Bitcoin value comes on top of the 800% growth already seen in the past 12 months, and it is expected to keep rising. The cryptocurrency with the second-highest value, Ethereum, has also seen upward gains, trading at $302 per coin. However, this is considerably down from a high of $410 in June.

The move towards crypto-normalisation highlights the growing importance of cryptocurrencies within the financial sphere. Utterly devoid of central bank control or oversight and managed by algorithms, Bitcoin and similar cryptocurrencies have been celebrated as risk-free, must-have assets by hedge funds and start-up asset management firms, and dismissed as a fad best used for illegal activities by traditional banks and asset managers. Despite the varying opinions, no one can deny the value of listing cryptocurrencies as a tradable currency, given the astronomical rises in the value of the top cryptocurrencies in the last year. What is so endearing about cryptocurrency is its safety; that the rise and fall of the global economy/the various government currencies do not affect crypto-investments. If the world pushes on being politically and economically unstable as it has been, we may continue to see such disproportional gains in crypto-value.

 

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