The head of Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority, Andrew Bailey, had cautioned investors that bought bitcoin should be prepared for the possibility that they may “lose all their money”. But, on Friday, bitcoin soared to a new all-time high of nearly $18,000 on the Bitstamp exchange, up 9 percent on the day, as the warnings increased on the dangers of investing into the volatile cryptocurrency. With over 1,700 percent gains since the beginning of the year, the concerns that the market is a bubble that could burst at any given moment are increasing.
This month alone, Bitcoin has grown nearly 80 percent putting it on target for its best month in percentage terms in four years. On Friday, it climbed as high as $17,900 on the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp exchange. Volatility in trading has decreased since the launch of the bitcoin futures from Cboe Global Markets on Sunday. Market-watchers believe that the cryptocurrency’s price was elevated with the launch of rival CME Group’s bitcoin futures contracts on Sunday.
“The hope (is) that futures signal the unlocking of institutional money into the digital arena and (that there will be) a rapid demand increase and ratification of the technology and its principles,” said Charles Hayter, founder of a cryptocurrency industry website.
A study by three universities released on Friday, stated that bitcoin threatens the financial stability of the traditional currencies and markets. “Our evidence finds that the price of Bitcoin has been artificially inflated by speculative investment, putting it in a bubble,” said Larisa Yarovaya, one of the report’s authors.
“Although bitcoin is not regulated by governments, it could still have a knock-on effect on traditional markets due to the interconnectedness of cryptocurrency markets with other financial assets” Yarovaya added.
Many believe that bitcoin’s total market size, which is about $300 billion, could handle impact of any future price collapse as it would not be large enough to have a effect on financial stability.
THE MORNING REPORT
Start your workday the right way with the news that matters most.