Daily Management Review

Recording Value Above $14 Billion, Bitcoin Total Value Hits a Record


12/23/2016




Recording Value Above $14 Billion, Bitcoin Total Value Hits a Record
As the web-based digital currency jumped 5 percent on the day to its highest levels in three years after more than doubling in price this year, the total value of all bitcoins in circulation hit a record high above $14 billion on Thursday.
 
Putting the cryptocurrency on track for its best daily performance in six months was the price of one bitcoin reached $875 on the Europe-based Bitstamp exchange, its strongest level since January 2014.
 
Data compiled by Bloomberg show that its gain this year was taken to 107 percent as the cryptocurrency surged 15 percent this week to $900.40 as of 2:38 p.m. in Hong Kong. January 2014, when bitcoin was tumbling from its record price of $1,137 following the implosion of the MtGox exchange and tightening Chinese controls, was the last time it was at such levels.
 
With many experts linking bitcoin's rise with the steady depreciation of the Chinese yuan, which has slid almost 7 percent this year, that compared with levels around $435 at the start of the year. Any increase in demand from China tends to have a significant impact on the price as data shows the majority of bitcoin trading is done in the country.
 
With no need for a central authoritybitcoin is a web-based "cryptocurrency" that can move money across the globe quickly and anonymously. That makes it attractive to those wanting to get around capital controls, such as China's.
 
In late 2013, when it traded as high as $1,163 on the Bitstamp exchange, the digital currency is still some way off the peaks it scaled.
 
But its total value - or "market cap" - on Thursday surpassed the 2013 peak of around $14.01 billion because more bitcoins continue to be added to the system, currently at a rate of 12.5 every 10 minutes. That puts its total value at around the same as that of an average FTSE 100 company.
 
Bitcoin had been helped higher by demonetization in India, and by global political uncertainty, said Charles Hayter, founder of data analysis website Cryptocompare.
 
"If that trend continues, bitcoin is a good thematic play on the fracturing of our global norms as a flight to safety," he said.
 
Rallies in every major currency, stock index and commodity contract in 2016 have been beaten by bitcoin’s extended rally. Amid the killing of Russia’s envoy to Turkey and a separate attack that left 12 people dead in Berlin, buyers sought alternative assets this week. demand for bitcoin in China, where the majority of trading occurs is increasing because of weakening pressure on the yuan, which intensified this month as the U.S. projected a faster pace of tightening next year following Donald Trump’s election win.
  
“Terrorist attacks in Europe boosted haven demand in capital markets, and gold has been falling since Trump was elected,” said Le Xiaotian, an analyst at Huobi, a Chinese exchange. “Global instability has to a large extent directed funds to the bitcoin market.”
 
 “The Fed’s rate hike announcement has probably spooked a lot of emerging-market investors, particularly those in China, who are now flocking to bitcoin as a refuge from weak fiat currency assets,” said Thomas Glucksmann, head of marketing at Gatecoin Ltd. in Hong Kong. “As we’ve passed the $800 bitcoin price, a strong resistance point in the past, and move closer towards the psychological $1000 stratosphere, anything seems possible.”
 
(Source:www.reuters.com & www.bloomberg.com)






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