Bitcoin’s value is continuing to rise, sailing through $6,500 and $6,600 on Wednesday to hit a new all-time high.
The digital currency hit $6,634 just hours after smashing the $6,500 barrier on the 1st November, according to CoinMarketCap. The market capitalization of bitcoin subsequently rose to over $110 billion for the first time in its nine-year history.
The reason for this upward trajectory in value? CME Group, an American financial market company operating the world’s largest options and futures exchange, revealed yesterday that it is planning on launching a Bitcoin futures later this year, pending regulatory approval.
After the announcement, Bitcoin’s value rose to $6,400 on Tuesday morning.
Terry Duffy, CME Group chairman and CEO, said in a statement:
“Given increasing client interest in the evolving cryptocurrency markets, we have decided to introduce a bitcoin futures contract.”
Even though the cryptocurrency futures contract will only go ahead pending regulatory approval, Duffy is ‘confident’ that it will go through, adding:
“We’ve been working with the regulator. They understand our application. And they understand our model very, very well.”
With the possibility of more investors being brought to the market, CME’s news is believed to be behind bitcoin’s continuing rising value.
The new contract will be cash-settled, based on CME CF Bitcoin Reference Rate (BRR), which serves as a once-a-day reference rate of the U.S. dollar price of bitcoin. CME launched this in November 2016 with London-based Crypto Facilities Ltd. The reference rate is published at 4 p.m. London time. Bitcoin futures will be listed on and subject to the rules of CME.
It remains to be seen how much further bitcoin can rise and what impact it will produce on the market. Currently, the combined market value of all cryptocurrencies is worth $184.5 billion. The question remains as to whether it will be able to top $200 billion before the year’s out.
Of course, with bitcoin’s value continually exceeding its previous highs, it looks set on surpassing the $7,000 mark before November’s upcoming hard fork.
Yet, despite bitcoin’s increasing value and its rising dominance in the crypto market, critics of the currency remain. Most notable of them all is Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan CEO, who called bitcoin ‘a fraud’ last month, later claiming that it’s ‘worth nothing.’ Others to join his side include billionaire investor Warren Buffett, Larry Fink, CEO of BlackRock, and Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal.
Yet, according Steven Wozniak, Apple’s co-founder, bitcoin has a better value compared to gold or the U.S. dollar.
Speaking recently at the Money 20/20 event in Las Vegas, he said:
“There is a certain finite amount of bitcoin that can ever exist. Gold gets mined and mined and mined. Maybe there’s a finite amount of gold in the world, but cryptocurrency is even more mathematical and regulated and nobody can change mathematics.”