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Bitcoin soars to eye-popping $12,000

Business | Reuters, Janice Huang and Joyce Chen Dec 7, 2017
Bitcoin extended its eye-popping rally yesterday, breaking above US$12,000 to a record high despite questions about the cryptocurrency's real value and worries about a dangerous bubble.

Bitcoin received a boost after Friday's announcement by the main US derivatives regulator that it would allow CME Group and CBOE Global Markets to list bitcoin futures contracts.

The move opens the door to added regulation but also more mainstream adoption, as bitcoin futures and other derivatives would make it easier to trade the new asset class.

Bitcoin's meteoric ascent of over 10-fold from below US$1,000 at the start of the year has drawn regulatory scrutiny around the world.

Some high profile individuals such as Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz have said the cryptocurrency should be outlawed.

The current craze for bitcoin, and cryptocurrencies in general, have been likened by some to the 17th century Dutch tulip mania and more recently the dotcom bubble.

Bitcoin was last up 4.48 percent at US$12,200.40 (HK$1,560) on the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp exchange BTC=BTSP after surging to the record peak of US$12,276.00. "There is a lot of money flowing into bitcoin right now, mostly motivated by "fear of missing out" and greed," said Leonhard Weese, president of the Bitcoin Association of Hong Kong.

Meanwhile, analysts are positive on Asian currencies. Senior economist Alessia Berardi from Amundi global asset allocation research, said that Asian currencies are the safest in comparison with European and South American. Sean Taylor, chief investment office of APAC and managing director at Deutsche Asset Management, forecasted USD/CNY to 6.8.



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