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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 September 2018

Bitcoin powers through $12,000 as roller coaster ride gains speed

The latest price move will add to a chorus coming from naysayers who assert the speculative frenzy is an asset bubble waiting to pop. Franck Robichon/EPA
The latest price move will add to a chorus coming from naysayers who assert the speculative frenzy is an asset bubble waiting to pop. Franck Robichon/EPA

Bitcoin surpassed US$12,000 for the first time amid speculation that the widespread use of futures will help lead to digital currencies being viewed as a legitimate asset class for mainstream investors.

It was at $12,230 at 9.05am UAE time on the DailyFX site.

The largest cryptocurrency by market value has soared from less than $1,000 at the start of the year as optimism climbs for the distributed ledger technology known as blockchain that is at the heart of bitcoin. The price surge has been accompanied by a growing chorus of warnings that the speculative frenzy is an asset bubble poised to burst.

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Cboe Global Markets has said it will start trading bitcoin futures on December 10, while CME Group's contracts are set to debut on December 18. Nasdaq is planning to offer futures in 2018, according to a person familiar with the matter. Cantor Fitzgerald’s Cantor Exchange is creating a bitcoin derivative, and startup LedgerX already offers options.

The owner of the New York Stock Exchange and some of the largest futures markets in the world said he may regret not creating a futures contract based on bitcoin as competitors have done.

“We may be stupid for not being first on that,” said Jeff Sprecher, the chief executive of Intercontinental Exchange. “I don’t have the answers, I wish I knew” how the investments will evolve, he said. “I don’t know what to make of cryptocurrencies.”

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