The price of Bitcoin has been on an impressive upward rise over the last few months making historic gains, and it has just broken another record – The leading cryptocurrency on the market smashed through the $12,000 barrier in December.
At 11:33 AM Hong Kong time, Bitcoin was trading for $12,198.57 according to the specialist crypto website Coinbase. 2017 has been a stunning year for Bitcoin, remarkably it began the year with a value of less than $1000 per unit of currency, but surged past the $5000 mark in October and went over $11000 in the last couple of weeks.
This latest spike in value means that the cryptocurrency total market value is worth approximately $203 billion, which is more than twice the value of Goldman Sachs.
One of Wall Street’s most respected economists, Stephen Roach, a Yale University senior fellow and former chief economist at Morgan Stanley investment bank told CNBC: “I’ve never seen a chart of a security where the price really has a vertical pattern to it. And Bitcoin is the most vertical of any pattern I’ve ever seen in my career”.
Despite hostility and scepticism from several prominent figures in the financial world, Bitcoin and cryptocurrency in general just continue to defy and exceed expectations.
Many institutions, both financial and political have embraced this new world of digital currency.
Large exchanges such as the CME, NASDAQ and CBOE have granted cryptocurrency even greater legitimacy by announcing plans to introduce Bitcoin futures trading. The CBOE will begin trading Bitcoin futures as early as this Sunday evening, with Monday being the first full day of trading.
The CME will start trading Bitcoin futures a week later on December 18, and the Nasdaq is scheduled to commence Bitcoin futures trading during the first six months of 2018.
Many governments now recognise Bitcoin as legal tender, while the Japanese government has gone a step further, working on a scheme to introduce its own digital currency, the J Coin, with several Japanese banks leading the project.
The J Coin is expected to launch in time for the Tokyo Olympics, which are to be staged in 2020.