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New record for bitcoin

Business Insider
Tuesday, November 28, 2017

BITCOIN'S impressive march into record territory continued on Sunday afternoon.

The digital currency, which has been on a tear since the US Thanksgiving holiday, soared past $US9000 ($F18,889) a coin on Saturday night.

By 1:43 p.m. ET Sunday the digital currency was trading at an all-time high of $US9412 ($F19,754) a coin, a more than $US1000 ($F2098) increase from its price mid-day on Thursday.

Bitcoin's rapid appreciation appears to have coincided with a spike in the userbase of the largest platform for buying and selling crypto currencies in the US.

Coinbase, the San Francisco firm, grew its user count by 100,000 to 13.1 million from Wednesday to Friday, according to analysis by Alistair Milne, cofounder of Altana Digital Currency Fund.

The analysis was first reported by CNBC on Saturday. At the time of print, Coinbase reported more than 13.3 million users.

As for how high the crypto currency will go, one of Wall Street's biggest bitcoin bulls recently doubled his price target for the coin to $US11,500 ($F24,136). Tom Lee, the managing partner and head of research at Fundstrat Global Advisors, expects bitcoin to hit $11,500 by mid-2018, up from the estimate of $6000 he made in August.

Mr Lee is optimistic about the coming launch of bitcoin futures by Chicago Mercantile Exchange, which many think will increase the crypto currency's legitimacy, thereby expanding its potential user base. Folks also believe futures will help dampen bitcoin's spine-tingling volatility.

Billionaire businessman Mark Cuban, who recently described investing in bitcoin as a Hail Mary, told Business Insider the price will continue to rise so long as bitcoin continues to function more as a collectible than an actual currency.

"The number of people opening up new accounts and buying bitcoin, even fractionally, is skyrocketing," he said.

"Yet the people who have it as a true store of value have no reason to sell it as long as demand continues."

Since the list of merchants that accept bitcoin is still relatively small, holders don't have many places where they can spend their coins, either.

"They can't spend it, so they keep it," Mr Cuban said.

As such, Mr Cuban expects the price to continue to rise until "there is some systemic reason for the collectors to sell."

The markets might be waiting a while for investors to sell.

A survey by LendEDU found the average bitcoin investor doesn't plan to give up their bitcoin until the crypto currency reaches $US196,165 ($F411,719), or 21 times its current value.

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