Bitcoin, hitting new records, tops $200 billion in market capitalization - KDTV6 CYPTO NEWS

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Bitcoin, hitting new records, tops $200 billion in market capitalization

The digital currency bitcoin, which has seen astonishing gains throughout 2017, passed another in a series of rapidly falling milestones on Tuesday.

The price of a single bitcoin BTCUSD, +2.71%  rose 5.8% on Tuesday, hitting a record of $11,855.73. The gain brought bitcoin’s total market capitalization above $200 billion for the first time ever, according to pricing website CoinMarketCap. To give a sense of how quickly it has been rising, bitcoin first topped $100 billion in October. The combined market cap of all cryptocurrencies is $356.9 billion.

At its current size, bitcoin is now bigger than all but 23 components of the S&P 500 SPX, +0.03%  . By cresting $200 billion, it is now bigger than Coca-Cola Co. KO, -0.10% and it is within one percentage point of surpassing Oracle Corp. ORCL, +0.21% While there is no exchange-traded fund dedicated to the cryptocurrency, bitcoin is not too far from surpassing the largest ETF in size—the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust SPY, +0.05%  has $258.2 billion in assets.

Thus far in 2017, bitcoin has gained more than 1,100%, having ended 2016 below $1,000. The S&P 500 is up nearly 18% over the same period.

While the price has been heavily volatile, it has risen amid a number of calls that it is a bubble or a fraud, including from such high-profile investors as Jamie Dimon, the chief executive of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. JPM, -0.42%

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission last week said it would allow the listing of bitcoin futures, with a number of exchanges—including CBOE Global Markets, Nasdaq, and the CME Group—announcing they would launch such products. Futures are seen as potentially further legitimizing bitcoin as an investment, and they could drive additional demand into the space.

Cryptocurrencies have also benefitted from growing interest in blockchain, the decentralized ledger that is the underlying technology behind bitcoin.

“Just as internet has transformed our lives with email, e-commerce, or smartphone apps, we believe blockchain as an infrastructure technology can power future disruptive technologies through distributive ledgers, smart contracts, tokens or identity management,” UBS wrote in October.

The investment bank added that blockchain was “akin to investing in the internet in the mid-nineties,” estimating it could add as much as $300 to $400 billion of annual economic value globally by 2027.



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