2017 has been the year of cryptocurrency. The market has grown in value by 1850% since 1 January 2017 as Bitcoin and some cryptocurrencies have rocketed in price. The Bitcoin meteoric rise is being reported by mainstream media daily sparking interest across the globe. One of the drivers of the Bitcoin price is certainly the news that the CME Group, the world’s largest options exchange, integrates its Bitcoin futures exchange by 17 December and open to trading the following day. The CBOE (Chicago Board Options Exchange) announced plans for Bitcoin contracts and Nasdaq want to launch Bitcoin Futures during the second quarter of 2018.
Besides Institutional interest and investment dominating the news, note that the 24hour volume in terms of currency being exchanged for Bitcoin continues to be the Japanese Yen. Speculation is also a driver of the Bitcoin price as traders see an opportunity to take profits. In Japan, the near-zero saving rates and pension problems are driving the “Mrs Watanabe” investor to invest in Bitcoin.
Here are the current top 10 Cryptocurrencies according to Coinmarketcap.com from a list of over 1300 – this list does change as new cryptocurrencies move up in terms of the price and circulating volume. Not all cryptocurrencies are equal as some have specific use cases, for example, Ethereum is used for Smart Contracts and Ripple for cross-border payments between financial institutions.
During November, internet searches for “Bitcoin” increased dramatically as the graph below depicts – Many would be asking the question “Is it too late to invest in Bitcoin?”
There are now more than 120 hedge funds focused on bitcoin and other digital currencies.
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