Bitcoin Backs Away From Record High Above $18,000

Bitcoin Backs Away From Record High Above $18,000

© Reuters.  Bitcoin pares gains to 8% after hitting all-time high© Reuters. Bitcoin pares gains to 8% after hitting all-time high – Bitcoin pared gains on Friday after shooting up to an all-time record high above $18,000, despite concerns that the digital currency may be the biggest bubble in history.

On the U.S.-based Bitfinex exchange, was up 8.13%, or $1,332.0, at $17,717.0 by 10:14AM ET (15:14GMT), after rising as far as $18,111.00 earlier, the highest point in its history.

Cryptocurrency mania has been led this year by Bitcoin, the largest digital currency with a market cap of $303.58 billion, with year-to-gains of more than 1,700%.

Bitcoin has been receiving even more hype recently as exchanges embark on plans to create futures products for the cryptocurrency. In the last seven days, Bitcoin has risen around 14% as trading of began on Monday.

CME plans its own launch on December 18 while reports have pointed to the possibility that Nasdaq may do the same and a spokesperson for Germany’s Deutsche Boerse confirmed this week that they are “thinking about futures, with which private investors and institutional investors can protect existing investments in Bitcoin or set for falling prices of the cyber currency.”

The launch of futures trading has drawn a mixed reaction from investors, as it provides market participants with the option to place bearish bets on bitcoin, which could pressure the price of digital currency.

Other market participants believe, however, that the launch of futures paves the way for bitcoin to become an established asset class, which would spur institutional demand.

Bitcoin’s stellar rise this year has with the fever spreading. , the second most valuable cryptocurrency by market cap after bitcoin, saw prices holding around the unchanged mark at $677.31 on Friday in early morning U.S. trade, paring earlier losses. Investors appeared ready to take a breather after an impressive 46% rise this week on the back of speculation that that Swiss banking giant UBS would lead an Ethereum-based blockchain platform.

may be the week’s big winner with a rally of more than 200% that served to pass Bitcoin-offshoot to become the third largest cryptocurrency with a market cap of $29.59 billion.

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