Bitcoin investors have much to be thankful for.

At the start of the long weekend, the price for one bitcoin was $8,224.78. At 07:14 UTC today, it registered a new high of $9,043.19, the first time that it has crossed the $9,000 mark. By 13:57 UTC, it was down to $8,990.26, still up 2.58% in the last 24 hours.

Bitcoin’s latest price movement sets it within sight of billionaire Michael Novogratz’s $10,000 price target by the end of this year. It is also a reversal of sorts from the digital currency’s moves at the beginning of last week, when its price rose or declined in small quantities. The price for Ethereum and Bitcoin Cash, which both set record highs in the last couple of days, mostly stayed constant. (See also: Bitcoin Price Continues To Fall As Bitcoin Cash Gains.) The swell in bitcoin’s price helped the overall market capitalization for cryptocurrencies rise up to $285.4 billion.

The velocity of bitcoin’s upward trajectory has surged in recent times. It covered the distance between $8,000 and $9,000 in 7 days versus the 17 days it took to cross the mark between $7,000 and $8,000. (See also: Bitcoin's Price Crosses $8K For The First Time.) 

Based on reports, bitcoin’s most recent rally is due to a combination of mainstream traction and the enthusiasm of investors in Asia. Coinbase, the world’s largest online crypto wallet, added 100,000 new users around the Thanksgiving holiday. According to Alistair Milne, co-founder and chief investment officer at Altana digital currency fund, the online wallet has grown its user base by 9.2 million within a single year.

Investors in Asia also drove up the cryptocurrency’s price. Specifically, South Korean investors ditched Bitcoin Cash, which had spiked four days ago on the back of interest from traders there, for bitcoin.

What’s In The Future?  

As 2017 comes to a close, institutional investors are expected to play an important role in bitcoin's price movements. For example, trading in CME’s cash-settled bitcoin futures is expected to begin as soon as the second week of December. (See also: CME To Launch Bitcoin Futures.)

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) is also reportedly considering offering bitcoin futures investments to its clients. These developments should provide further momentum to bitcoin’s upswing as they add liquidity. But other institutions are taking a cautious stance.

Opinions regarding the cryptocurrency were caustic, even sharp, at the recent Schwab Impact Conference organized by Charles Schwab, the investment behemoth. Noted author Michael Lewis called bitcoin a “pump-and-dump” scheme. Liza Ann Sonders, chief investment strategist at the firm, said the cryptocurrency was “the next kale,” meaning it is a fad. That said, the investment firm seems to have adopted a wait-and-watch strategy.

Jeffrey Kleintop, global investment strategist at the firm, said there was good reason to be interested in the cryptocurrency. He added that they were waiting for regulations to develop around crytocurrencies and for a single cryptocurrency to emerge as the winner from among the 100 or so currently available in the market.

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