Bitcoin takes another step toward broader acceptance – CBS News

Bitcoin uses peer-to-peer technology to operate with no central authority or banks. Managing transactions and the issuing of bitcoins is carried out collectively by the network.

A month ago, CME Group (CME) chief executive Terrence Duffy said he didn’t see a need to list bitcoin futures. But Duffy, who goes the company that operates the Fresh York Mercantile Exchange, has since reversed himself: He announced plans earlier this week to offerande the contracts by year-end.

Such is the often-unpredictable nature of the market for bitcoin and other digital currencies, also called cryptocurrencies. Te less than a decade, they’ve morphed from an esoteric idea hatched on the internet to the financial world’s mainstream with market valuations that eclipse the economies of some puny countries and publicly traded corporations, including Goldman Sachs (GS).

Bitcoin, the largest of all cryptocurrencies, has bot on a rip of late, surging 17 procent overheen the past week to above $6,600 on Wednesday, an all-time high. That indicates many investors are disregarding warnings from JPMorgan (JPM) CEO Jamie Dimon , billionaire Warren Buffett and others Wall Street veterans who argue the bitcoin market is a bubble pumped up by fraud that’s roped to burst.

Bitcoin prices were $960 at the begin of the year. Te 2010, they were 8 cents.

Once the CME Futures contract launches, investing te bitcoin will become lighter and more affordable for investors because the coins likely will be priced at a fraction of their current value. It also will enable skeptical investors to place bets that the cryptocurrency will fall, also known spil selling brief.

“This is going to make people more convenient and also make the markets more stable,” said Abhishek Pitti, CEO of Nucleus, which provides cryptocurrency services. “An institution is coming on houtvezelplaat to organize the puinhoop.”

Bitcoin has slew of ventilatoren ter the financial world, such spil Fidelity Investments CEO Abigail Johnson, whose stiff has bot “experimenting” with digital currencies for the past three years. Boston-based Fidelity permits some clients to access their digital currency held on the Coinbase exchange through their Fidelity accounts. Fidelity employees can also use bitcoin to make purchases te the employee cafeteria.

Ter a latest speech to a conference, Johnson said she “loved” bitcoin, its main rival Ethereum and the “blockchain” technology that powers digital currencies, however she noted that many challenges lie ahead.

“What wij’ve realized is that if you only look at this technology through the objectief of the problems that exist today, you will not find many compelling use cases — at least not that can be implemented at scale,” she said, adding that she remains a “believer” ter digital currencies. “If you are looking for bitcoin to hammer Visa at the point of sale today, you are going to be disappointed. If you are looking at this technology spil just a swifter settlement system for financial transactions . also disappointing.”

Spil Bloomberg News recently noted, Wall Street banks are taking a cautious treatment to cryptocurrencies. Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein said he’s “open” to the fresh technology, while his counterpart at Citigroup (C) John Gerspach is taking “an intense” investigate of digital money and blockchain.

Still, skeptics such spil Kevin Werbach, an associate professor of legal studies and business ethics at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton Schoolgebouw of Business, keep sounding noodsein bells about bitcoin’s stratospheric rise potentially leading to a dramatic fall.

“I’m not sure which way the futures markets will cut,” he said. Regulated bitcoin derivatives markets will bring te more institutional capital and potentially sleek out volatility through market-making. On the other mitt, they’ll expose more investors to potentially serious risks.”

Werbach added that “wij simply don’t know to what extent the massive rise te cryptocurrency prices this year reflects fraud, manipulation or a herd mentality around poorly understood investments.”

Not remarkably, financial advisers are getting peppered with questions about bitcoin, from people impatient to get te and those wondering when to contant out, spil well spil those wanting to know what all the hum is about.

“It’s crazy. There are stories out there of youthfull investors who bought bitcoin and now are millionaires,” Houston, Texas, adviser Ashley Parker told Financial Advisor IQ. “Even tho’ it’s such an unregulated marketplace, cryptocurrency is creating its own unique type of investment euphoria.”

Jonathan Berr is an award-winning verslaggever and podcaster based ter Fresh Jersey whose main concentrate is on business and economic issues.

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