For the first time in history, the price of Bitcoin has surpassed $13,000 (rising from $12,000 in less than a day).
For those keeping track, this is how long it has taken the cryptocurrency to cross the key psychological levels:
This pushes Bitcoin's market cap to around $220 billion (above that of Citigroup) as the market cap of the entire cryptocurrency space is now bigger than JPMorgan.
While no specific catalyst is clear, we note two headlines that stood out:
The Tokyo Financial Exchange, one of Japan’s leading financial exchanges, has announced that they will begin preparations for Bitcoin futures offerings at the beginning of 2018. The company boasts some high value trading partners like JP Morgan Chase and Barclays.
The announcement suggests that the exchange will build a working group to study cryptocurrencies and the potential for futures this January. The working group is the first step toward final action and is generally a strong signal for adoption, since it preceded legislation for approval. According to the CEO Shozo Ohta:
“Once the Financial Instruments and Exchange Act recognizes cryptocurrencies as financial products, we will list the futures as quickly as possible. To achieve that, we will launch this working group to study various aspects, including Bitcoin’s present status, its outlook, and what form it will take root in Japan’s society.”
The announcement falls in line with Japan’s previous moves toward adoption of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. The country was one of the first to recognize Bitcoin as a legal payment method, and has been open to increasing changes. At present, Japan is the world’s largest Bitcoin market, with about half of all Bitcoin trades globally being denominated in yen.
After Jamie Dimon drew a line in the sand for JPMorgan, calling it a ‘fraud,’ the company has once again stepped over that line, praising the digital coin as a ‘new gold.’ Analysts at JPMorgan believe that Bitcoin has changed its shape and that it could soon be joining gold as a reliable, long-term way to store wealth. Recent growth and recent changes have seen Bitcoin lean more towards being digital gold, and this is where JPMorgan see its value.
“Potential to elevate cryptocurrencies to an emerging asset class”
According to JPMorgan analyst Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou, the incredible spike in the value of Bitcoin is allowing it to start competing as an asset class; and seemingly at the same time drop out of the currency race.
There are changes afoot in the Bitcoin market, especially when it comes to making the digital currency easier to invest in. Panigirtzoglou said:
“The prospective launch of Bitcoin futures contracts by established exchanges, in particular, has the potential to add legitimacy and thus increase the appeal of the cryptocurrency market to both retail and institutional investors.”
However, amid all the exuberance in bitcoin's incessant rise, RT reports that another question about the safety of cryptocurrency transactions was raised this Wednesday.
Clients of a major Las Vegas bitcoin exchange Bittrex say they can’t withdraw their money and the company doesn’t explain why. The clients of Bittrex, which processes about $1 billion of cryptocurrency payments per day, are angry about the delays, Business Insider reports. They claim to have verification problems but get close to no feedback from Bittrex about the situation.
The company admitted to "significant delays" in handling the issues, but said they affected only "a small percentage of our overall user base."
New identification procedures are being implemented to comply with the US anti-fraud banking regulations.
One of Bittrex users, who asked the media to call him only by his middle name, commented on the problem.
“Bittrex has two levels of verification. Basic Verification, which I completed, but it said it could not find any public record to match what I entered. Then [it] gives you the option to submit what they call Enhanced Verification where you have to submit Gov ID, Passport, Selfie, etc. I, in turn, did this, but that one also failed, saying 'Name Mismatch Error.' To top it off, they do not provide any settings page to correctly make the name change if [there] truly is a name mismatch,” he said.
“The next step is for you to submit a support ticket, which I then completed. My support ticket was opened on November 6 with not a single response from anyone at Bitrrex. This is going on for almost 30 days now. I updated the ticket many times to no avail," he added.
Another user complained that when he made the deposit, no verification was required.
But it seems that is not stopping investors. As Ron Paul explains money arose via market transactions, and precious metals have served as money for thousands of years. Then government, for its own reasons, monopolized the creation of money. It has been a disaster ever since. Competing currencies, without government intrusion, will clean up this mess. Is Bitcoin a step in the right direction?
We leave it to Alan Greenspan to sum up the ironic ignorance of the status quo:
"...you cannot tell me that you can create out of nothing something has a medium orf exchange value..."