Bitcoin Gathers Fresh Momentum as Investors Increase Allocations

Andamento del mercato - 06/12/2017

After one of the most stunning performances of any asset class year-to-date, bitcoin continues to baffle its detractors as the seminal cryptocurrency defies all expectations to continue its most recent climb higher.  The cryptocurrency has risen more than 8.00% over the last 24 hours alone to bring its 12-month return to 1500%.  Since topping the key psychological level of $10,000 late last month, not even heightened scrutiny and increased regulation have been enough to dissuade investors of its long-term viability.

Furthermore, the advance of measures intended to broaden the market’s appeal for institutional investors may provide another catalyst for even further bullish momentum.  Plans initiated by famed futures exchange CME Group will bring the introduction of the first bitcoin futures contract to the exchange starting next week on December 10th, helping regulated financial firms increase their exposure and portfolio allocations to cryptocurrencies over time.  However, this launch of this new product could have unique implications for bitcoin.

For one, bitcoin is largely a deflationary instrument.  The creation of artificial scarcity by choosing to limit the total number of the coins in the ecosystem to approximately 21,000,000 million could mean that changes in prices echo participation.  As participation grows, the market capitalization of bitcoin might mirror that dynamic.  However, the introduction of futures contracts on CME Group’s platform could also mean greater opportunities for speculators to initiate short positions with more leverage, potentially generating even greater amounts of volatility in the still young cryptocurrency market.

Furthermore, bitcoin still suffers from image problems, with some major players in the financial arena like Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein suggesting that bitcoin was being employed as a medium to conduct scams while other pundits believe that the current interest resembles past manias like the technology bubble or even the Dutch tulip bubble.  However, even when it draws increased government and regulatory scrutiny like what was witnessed earlier this week in the UK, the cryptocurrency has large shrugged off the temporary dips in prices that materialized.  In the meantime, the upward trends momentum has gathered additional strength, pushing the BTCUSD ever closer to the $13,000 per coin mark.

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