Is bitcoin about to go mainstream after new all-time high?

1 Nov 2017

Image: Mavas_Bd/Shutterstock

Bitcoin has broken its all-time high once again and shows no sign of stopping, thanks to some mainstream recognition.

As major world governments look on very sceptically at the meteoric rise of bitcoin, traders and financial experts are in awe as it has once again surpassed its all-time high to reach $6,450.

Since this record was broken, bitcoin’s price has risen once again to $6,517, at the time of writing, after what has been a sixfold increase in price, and more than double what it was just two months ago.

Market analysis also shows that the cryptocurrency has risen by 17pc in the space of a week, bringing its market capitalisation to more than $100bn.

Regulated trading

According to Reuters, this recent surge can be attributed to the fact that it could be about to go mainstream after the world’s largest derivatives exchange operator, CME Group, said it will work with the cryptocurrency.

With expectations that it will be live by the end of this year, this means that bitcoin will now be a part of a regulated trading venue for the first time.

In a statement, CME Group’s chair and CEO Terry Duffy said: “Given increasing client interest in the evolving cryptocurrency markets, we have decided to introduce a bitcoin futures contract.

“As the world’s largest regulated FX marketplace, CME Group is the natural home for this new vehicle that will provide investors with transparency, price discovery and risk transfer capabilities.”

Fraud claim

Despite this move being a sign of US government approval, the country’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has recently announced it is to take legal action against a day trader who allegedly used bitcoin to hide profits.

The SEC claims that the trader, named Joseph Willner, manipulated the markets after taking over more than 100 accounts and using a bitcoin exchange to hide US dollars he had converted into the cryptocurrency.

“Account takeovers are an increasingly significant threat to retail investors, and it is exactly the type of fraud our new cyber unit is focusing on,” said Stephanie Avakian, co-director of the SEC’s division of enforcement.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic