The bitcoin price surged to over $18,000 yesterday with frenzied demand slowing trading at one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges.
Yesterday saw the number one digital currency rally in price by more than $3,000 in 24 hours as demand for bitcoin continued to surge. Coinbase’s GDAX exchange, reported the price of the cryptocurrency as trading at $18,259. However, other exchanges such as Gemini, Bitstamp, and HitBTC, saw lower prices below $16,000. Whereas, Bitfinex had bitcoin trading at $15,592.
As a result of the continued surge, ahead of new bitcoin derivative products being launched later this month, Coinbase reported that record traffic had slowed trading. Earlier today, Brian Armstrong, co-founder and CEO at Coinbase, issued an announcement about, stating:
The last few weeks has seen an unprecedented increase in the price of digital currencies. More people are engaging with our platform than ever and that bodes well for the future of the digital currency. At the same time, it does create extreme volatility and stress on our systems.
He added that ‘during times of significant volatility or volume’ customers may find that services on Coinbase have been degraded or are unavailable. As a result, this may impact a customer’s ability to trade.
Just recently, it was reported that some of the world’s biggest banks were taking a stand against the upcoming launch of several bitcoin futures. On the 10th December, Chicago-based exchange Cboe Global Markets is to launch its bitcoin derivatives product, enabling investors to trade the digital asset via a regulated exchange. Fellow Chicago-based exchange CME Group is to follow on the 18th. Both of them received regulatory approval from the U.S. Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) last week.
Yet, it is these planned launches that major brokerages disagree with. In a letter to the Futures Industry Association (FIA), whose members include the likes of JPMorgan Chase, to the CFTC, major banks are arguing that the futures ‘did not allow for proper public transparency and input,’ reports the Financial Times (paywall).
According to the FIA, its members have reservations about the reliability of prices underlying the bitcoin futures contracts. Despite this, though, others think that the launch of the futures will be a good thing for the cryptocurrency market. Billionaire investor and previous critic of bitcoin, Mark Cuban said earlier this week, that the move is ‘generally positive.’
In a report from Bloomberg, Cuban said:
Transaction costs are relatively high for BTC. If this pushes transaction costs lower, it will be a benefit to the BTC market.
Back in June, Cuban stated on Twitter that the digital currency was in a bubble.
Featured image from Shutterstock.