Bitcoin has smashed records by surpassing the $7,000 mark for the first time this week.
The cryptocurrency has been quickly increasing in value, hitting $6500 over the weekend and according to CoinDesk, Bitcoin reached $7,355.35 at about 7:16 a.m. ET. A 7 percent increase in one day and a 20.5 percent increase in the last seven days.
Such a surge in the digital currency’s value spelled good news for the world’s cryptocurrencies, in total they all now value $189 billion for the first time. Originally the market cap was set at $121 billion.
Bitcoin Cash is also making significant gains, according to CoinDesk it is now “trading at around $546. BCH has risen 13.63 percent over the last 24 hours, and an astonishing 62.16 percent over the last seven days.”
In the wake of this surge, the CME Group, the world’s largest derivatives operator, said it would now introduce bitcoin futures contracts. Meaning that it could bring more institutional investors into the market.
"This is bitcoin crossing the divide from the wild west of finance to the mainstream. Futures from an incumbent exchange bring bitcoin and cryptocurrencies into the regulatory fold. This allows more complex financial products to be created and will eventually open the doors to institutional money." Charles Hayter, CEO of cryptocurrency comparison website Crypto Compare, told CNBC.
Despite this revelation, there are still detractors when it comes to this game-changing digital currency. Banking executives like JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon and Blackrock CEO Larry Fink aren’t entirely on board with bitcoin.
At the recent Delivering Alpha conference, hosted by Institutional Investor and CNBC, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon tore into Bitcoin. “It’s worse than tulip bulbs,” he said. “It won’t end well. Someone is going to get killed.” He also said that bitcoin and other currencies like it “are not a real thing.”
Bitcoin’s technology, Blockchain is also the subject of much dissonance among the financial community, as it could make powerful jobs in the sector obsolete.
Harvard professors Marco Iansiti and Karim Lakhani describe the blockchain as “an open, distributed ledger that can record transactions between two parties efficiently and verifiably and permanently. . . . With blockchain, we can imagine a world in which contracts are embedded in digital code and stored in transparent, shared databases, where they are protected from deletion, tampering, and revision. In this world, every agreement, every process, every task, and every payment would have a digital record and signature that could be identified, validated, stored, and shared. Intermediaries like lawyers, brokers, and bankers might no longer be necessary,” reports Institutional Investor.
The increase also has the world’s governing bodies in a scramble to control the use of cryptocurrencies. A government panel in India advised closing cryptocurrency dealers in India. China also announced an immediate ban on ICO (initial coin offerings) funding and the Securities and Exchange Commission said that securities trading laws might soon apply to ICOs.
Bitcoin is currently holding steady at $7117.10.
Written by Danielle De La Bastide