Whew, that didn’t take long! The price of bitcoin, which crossed $12,000 less than 12 hours ago, has set a new record high by surpassing $13,000. At 19:46 UTC, the cryptocurrency was trading at $13,020.29, an increase of 11.30% in the last 24 hours.
For those keeping count, bitcoin’s price has jumped by $3,000 in less than a week. After spending most of last week shedding gains, the cryptocurrency geared up for a massive upward trajectory last Friday by flying past the $10,000 mark again. (See also: Bitcoin Price Reverses Course After CME Sets Futures Trading Date.) It was a fast and furious ride toward the next record.
Monero and IOTA are still trending upward among the top 10 most-traded cryptocurrencies even as others have registered declines. The former is up by 17% and the latter rose by 19.16%. The overall cryptocurrency market was worth $378.5 billion at 19:56 UTC today.
Most news reports attribute the surge in bitcoin’s price this week to decisions by two prominent Chicago futures exchanges to introduce bitcoin futures trading soon. Last Friday, CME announced that it would begin bitcoin futures trading on its exchange on December 18, while the CBOE said Sunday that it was planning to begin bitcoin futures trading on its exchange on December 10. (See also: CBOE To Start Futures Trading On Dec. 10.)
At a conference yesterday, NYSE’s owner said they might have been “stupid” to miss the chance at being the first to introduce bitcoin futures. Futures trading is expected to pave the way for entry of institutional money into bitcoin trading. In turn, this is expected to stabilize the cryptocurrency’s volatile price movements.
Enthusiasm from traders in South Korea might also be a reason for bitcoin’s rapid rise in the last 24 hours. The U.S. dollar has dominated in a majority of transactions involving cryptocurrencies, except bitcoin. According to data from Coinmarketcap.com, the Korean won accounted for a majority of bitcoin trades in the last 24 hours.
A Bloomberg article quotes a psychology professor at Seoul National University as saying that a shared border with an increasingly belligerent North Korea, coupled with local political turmoil, has driven South Koreans to the cryptocurrency. The government earlier this week formed a task force to review speculation in the cryptocurrency markets. (See also: Why South Korean Bitcoin Price Is $1,000 Over Global Price).
Miners have also shifted their resources to bitcoin mining from bitcoin cash, its rival currency. The spiraling bitcoin price has increased block rewards, which is helping them make profits even though the average amount of fees per block has increased.