Bitcoin once again rallied on Tuesday to register an all-time high of $11,931. This took the entire cryptocurrency market cap to a whopping $355 billion – a single day increase of 4%. At the time of writing, the world’s largest cryptocurrency is trading at $11,800 and has a 56% dominance over the crypto market.
Bitcoin investors are impatiently waiting for two dates in particular; Dec 10 and Dec 18. The rally is clearly being fueled by continued bullishness over the impending launch of regulated Bitcoin futures contracts on Sunday (Dec 10).
Meanwhile, altcoins reaped the gains of a bullish market, and the number of cryptocurrencies with billion-dollar valuations swelled to a new all-time high of nineteen.
However, Bitcoin was not quite able to extend across the $12,000 mark – a feat which would have raised its total valuation past $200 billion for the first time.
Alternate cryptocurrencies like Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin continued to trade sideways. Although, the launch of Bitcoin futures is expected to have a positive effect on Ethereum. If it turns out to be a success, the president of derivatives exchange CBOE has hinted that his exchange may soon add Bitcoin cash and Ethereum futures.
In the top 10 alts, there were two cryptocurrencies that made movements worthy of note. IOTA, ranked fifth, continued its dramatic climb, rising 28% to crack the $3 mark for the first time. The other was, Monero, ranked ninth, leaped 23% to raise its price to $240 and its market cap to $3.7 billion.
Top Stories from the Crypto World
1. Tokyo Financial Exchange preparing for Bitcoin futures launch
One of Japan’s leading financial exchanges, The Tokyo Financial Exchange, which counts the likes of JPMorgan Chase among its trading participants, is set to join the mad rush among traditional financial institutions to support Bitcoin as a financial product.
According to the chief executive Shoza Ohta, the institution will first create a working group to study and research cryptocurrencies before listing Bitcoin futures trading contracts.
The listing of Bitcoin futures will require changes to the country’s securities laws. The first step to that end would be the start of the working group leading toward drafting legislation, as per Ohta.
“Once the Financial Instruments and Exchange Act recognizes cryptocurrencies as financial products, we will list the futures as quickly as possible. To achieve that, we will launch this working group to study various aspects, including bitcoin’s present status, its outlook, and what form it will take root in Japan’s society.” Ohta said.
2. China’s central bank believes Bitcoin will be dead in a river
Pan Gongsheng, deputy governor of People’s Bank of China (PBoC) stated that he thinks Bitcoin will end up floating down a river as a dead body.
According to him, it was ‘scary to think about’ where the market would be now if ICOs, Bitcoin transactions, and financing activities were still taking place in China.
Gongsheng cited a column by Éric Pichet, an economist and professor at the Kedge Business School in France. In it Pichet argues that the cryptocurrency will come to an end from a hack into the blockchain or via a global ban from governments.
The column says, “The first would be the breakout of the century (such as theft by password) or a break-in in the blockchain system that would lead to a flood of fake bitcoins, and therefore a collapse of prices.”
3. Western Union blocks cryptocurrency-related transactions
International money transfer services provider Western Union (WU) has launched a campaign against wire transfer transactions involving digital currency exchanges. The company’s decision to disallow cryptocurrency-related services or transactions is covered by its internal regulations.
The company has reportedly advised the cryptocurrency exchange Kraken that it is not processing a transaction related to digital currencies because it is against its internal rules.
This is not the first time we’re seeing a big corporation go against cryptocurrencies. In the past, different financial providers around the world have prevented their customers from buying and selling digital currencies. Several banks have also gone a bit further by closing accounts involved in the trading of virtual currencies.