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Bitcoin soars then falls as banks raise risk concerns

08 December 2017

The world's largest bitcoin exchanges by trade volume are reporting significantly varying prices as the cryptocurrency's price soars to new all-time highs, market data shows.

Earlier this week Bitcoin's price entered a phase of rapid growth, starting at about $11,000 on Monday and hitting the $15,000 mark early on Thursday. At the start of the year, one bitcoin was worth less than $1,000. The price on Coinbase is often at a premium over other exchanges.

"I truly don't think people are involved on a mass scale yet".

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Despite its wild ride, bitcoin now has a market value of more than $270 billion, meaning it would rank among the 20 largest stocks in the S&P 500.

Investors' current infatuation with digital currencies looks like a bubble to us.

Exchange operator Cboe Holdings will launch its bitcoin futures contract this weekend, while CME Group says its futures will launch on December 18. The futures are created to reflect the price of bitcoin without an investor having to physically hold the virtual currency, not unlike how oil, gold, copper or cocoa prices are determined by futures contracts.

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"While we launched [in the U.S.] just a week ago, bitFlyer has already seen strong interest from institutions looking to gain exposure to bitcoin". JPMorgan Chase Jamie Dimon has called bitcoin a "fraud".

A bitcoin is often referred to as a decentralised digital currency, or for many it is more commonly known as a digital asset.

However, while companies like Overstock, Microsoft, and Starbucks offer customers the option to pay for products and services in Bitcoin, the cryptocurrency is increasingly being treated more as a store of value and less as a transaction currency. Its content is produced independently of USA TODAY.

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Bitcoin soars then falls as banks raise risk concerns