The price of bitcoin continued its flight Thursday to the point of exceeding for the first time in its history the threshold of $15,000, with a surge of more than 50% in a week.
The virtual currency crossed this threshold around 10:00 GMT and reached $ 15,242.99, its new historical record, at 10:26 GMT, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Bitcoin continues to reach new heights
The digital currency just crossed the 16,000 dollars by Thursday morning. In mid-October, it was still trading at $5,000.
Its value has been multiplied by 15 since the beginning of the year that it began around $1,000, raising the concern of the financial authorities and the amazement of market analysts, unaccustomed to such an outbreak of an asset
The race for the record is fueled by the growing interest of major US markets, some of which are preparing to launch in the course of December futures bitcoins, to speculate on its evolution. These scholarships thus give some legitimacy to this asset in the eyes of some traditional finance players who tasted little of this product of a new type so far.
The Chicago platform options exchange (Cboe) will launch its products on December 10 and will be followed a few days later by the American CME (Chicago Mercantile Exchange), one of the largest trading companies in the world.
These initiatives have been given the go-ahead by the powerful Futures and Derivatives Regulatory Authority in the United States (CFTC), which is more used to dealing with commodities.
But they also raise many criticisms in the world of finance. The association of FIA derivatives exchanges has criticized a decision deemed hasty and too risky.
“Risks and perils”
As the number of bitcoins that can be put into circulation is limited, any increase in demand immediately translates into a jump in its value.
Now, the total capitalization of the cryptocurrency is $256 billion, far ahead of its competitor Ethereum which weighs $40 billion, according to data from specialized site coinmarketcap.com.
Bitcoin is now worth more than many multinationals, such as Coca-Cola, or the gross domestic product of a country like Finland.
Without physical existence, the bitcoin that was worth only a few cents in 2009 when it was launched is based on a peer-to-peer payment system based on blockchain or blockchain technology.
It has no legal tender and is not governed by a central bank or a government but by a large community of Internet users and accepted in a growing number of transactions (restaurants, real estate, etc.).
Many well-known economists, like Nobel laureates Joseph Stiglitz and Jean Tirole, have stepped into the niche in recent days against the soaring bitcoin, described as a “speculative bubble” likely to “implode”.
Central bankers, masters of traditional currencies and guarantors of global financial stability, when they multiplied the warnings, like the governor of the Bank of France Francois Villeroy Galhau believing that those who invested in bitcoin did so “totally at their own risk.
Regulators in several countries have also warned individuals who could lose big to want to try the bet of this investment very risky.
The French financial authorities have notably hammered that bitcoin was called “wrongly virtual currency” by alerting investors about the risk of “very high” losses.
The attraction for bitcoin is such that it is coveted by hackers. The platform NiceHash has just been stolen for 60 million dollars of bitcoin, according to several media.