Bitcoin blows past $13000 for the first time

Bitcoin blows past $13000 for the first time

According to data from Coinmarketcap, the cryptocurrency briefly traded above the $12,000 in yesterday's afternoon session, but it eventually finished the day at $11,916.70.

The decision of the CME to open bitcoin futures was first announced before the currency hit its much-anticipated high (now surpassed, as of today at least) of $10,000.

Bitcoin is up an eye-popping 1,180% year-to-date. It reached $5,000 in October and crossed the $11,000 figure in less than two months.

"The fact that CME, the biggest kid on the block, is moving early into cryptocurrency, will force other major exchanges to follow suit in the fear of not missing out", Shane Chanel, from Sydney-based ASR Wealth Advisers, said in a note this week.

While its meteoric rise has been celebrated by many investors, Bitcoin has received harsh criticism from prominent figures in the financial and investing circles.

United Kingdom and European Union leaders are planning a crackdown on the Bitcoin amid fears tax evasion and money laundering.

For one, Stephen Roach, Yale University senior fellow and the former Asia chairman and chief economist at investment bank Morgan Stanley, told CNBC on Tuesday that he was deeply skeptical of investing in bitcoin. "This is a unsafe speculative bubble by any shadow or stretch of the imagination".

USA regulators last week cleared the way for Bitcoin futures to trade on major exchanges, including the world's biggest futures centre the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), in news welcomed by analysts.

Many experts have raised their targets for 2018 after noticing the exponential rise.

Finance experts and investors are curious to know how bitcoin would actually fare in the coming year.

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