The bitcoin party doesn’t seem to be ending anytime soon.
The cryptocurrency set a fresh high this morning by trading at $6,596.01, before paring back some of its gains. At 13:01 UTC, bitcoin was trading at $6,537.36, a 4.67% increase in the last 24 hours according to Coinmarketcap. It had a total market cap of $2.95 billion. Reports have mostly ascribed the rise in bitcoin prices to yesterday’s announcement by the CME Group Inc., the world’s largest derivatives exchange, that it would allow bitcoin futures.
Bitcoin Cash, which is set to undergo a hard fork today, is on a similar high, rising by 13.06% to $498.16. It was down yesterday as traders apprehensive about their holdings pulled out from it and distributed their funds to other cryptocurrencies. BitConnect, which rose by 4.66% to $242.56, was the third currency from the top 10 most-traded cryptocurrencies which gained in value. Others were mostly down. The total market cap for cryptocurrencies was $183 billion.
Bitcoin’s price has already risen by approximately 645 percent in 2017, and analysts have mostly forecast further gains before the year is up. Their predictions are primarily based on greater uptake for the digital currency, which has largely operated in the underground economy since inception, in mainstream use.
For example, China and South Korea have already moved to tamp down regular bitcoin demand in their respective economies. But other countries seem to be picking up the slack. For example, Venezuelans have taken to bitcoin mining to earn cash in their failing economy.
According to a CNN report, Bitcoin’s price has surpassed $10,000 on Golix, a trading platform based in Harare, Zimbabwe. The cryptocurrency is popular in Zimbabwe’s hyperinflationary economy due to a shortage in U.S. dollars, which was adopted as the national currency following the collapse of the Zimbabwean dollar. Importers are using it to circumvent capital controls imposed by the government, and some analysts have also dangled the possibility of bitcoin replacing the national currency.