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Bitcoin soars beyond $15,000, climbs $2,000 in under 12 hours

Bitcoin's value soared to $15,344 on the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp exchange around 1420 GMT. Photograph: (Reuters)

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Dec 07, 2017, 04.55 PM (IST)

Bitcoin surge hit another milestone when it rocketed above $15,000 for the first time on Thursday.

In under 12 hours, the cryptocurrency recorded more than $2,000 in its price to see more than a fifteenfold surge in its value since the start of the year.

Bitcoin's value soared to $15,344 on the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp exchange around 1420 GMT when it had traded just above $13,000 12 hours earlier.

The surge accounted for a 12% hike in its value recorded on a day. The value of all cryptocurrencies now stands at around $415 billion, according to Coinmarketcap. 

"Futures trading will mean more demand...and is a form of ratification of the underlying tech - bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general. They are now on the main stage," said Charles Hayter, founder of cryptocurrency data analysis firm Cryptocompare.

The ongoing surge of Bitcoin is now been attributed to the launch of bitcoin futures by CBOE, one of the world`s biggest derivatives exchanges.

Market-watchers and experts believe it to give a helping hand in driving up the price on expectations it would draw more investors to the market. 

"Aggressive traders, such as hedge funds and algorithm-driven funds, (will be able) to use this futures market to enter bitcoin trading with high levels of liquidity for aggressive short-selling and knock the prices really low," said Think Markets analyst Naeem Aslam.

With crypto-currencies on the rise around the world, there are concerns being raised about the technology being used by terrorists and criminals to evade digital tracking. WION's Archit Sinha brings you this report. (WION)

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Bitcoin has more than tripled in price since the start of October, putting it on track for its best quarter since the end of 2013, when it surged above $1,000 for the first time. It slumped in 2014, after Mt Gox, then the world's biggest bitcoin exchange, collapsed, saying it had been hacked and had 650,000 bitcoins stolen. 

But some are warning that the launch of bitcoin futures, which will allow investors to take speculative "short" positions on the cryptocurrency, as well as "long" positions, could cause even greater volatility. 

The latest surge brought bitcoin`s "market cap" - its price multiplied by the total number of bitcoins in circulation - to more than $260 billion, according to Coinmarketcap, a trade website.

That, in theory, makes its market value higher than that of Visa.

In India, the Reserve Bank of India, on Tuesday, warned investors against the risks linked to Bitcoin.

The RBI stated rapid growth in Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) as a cause for concern which also makes virtual currencies highly volatile and risk-involving tools of investment.

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