After slowing down fractionally in its relentless ascent after topping $11,000 for the first time less than a week ago, Bitcoin has brushed off the weekend selloff and on Wednesday morning (Asian time) exploded higher following a renewed burst of buying out of the usual Asian suspect exchanges - and Bitfinex - surging above $12,000 for the first time ever, and trading at a new all time high of $12,200 at publication time.
For those keeping track, this is how long it has taken the cryptocurrency to cross the key psychological levels:
- $0000 - $1000: 1789 days
- $1000- $2000: 1271 days
- $2000- $3000: 23 days
- $3000- $4000: 62 days
- $4000- $5000: 61 days
- $5000- $6000: 8 days
- $6000- $7000: 13 days
- $7000- $8000: 14 days
- $8000- $9000: 9 days
- $9000-$10000: 2 days
- $10000-$11000: 1 day
- $11000-$12000: 6 days
The skeptics can take heart: at least the rate of ascent appears to have slowed down.
There has been no news to catalyze the move, and as most recent buying, it has been attributed to excitement over the upcoming December 10 CFTC bitcoin futures launch.
And speaking of bitcoin futures, the CEO of ICE, the owner of the New York Stock Exchange, Jeff Sprecher told a Goldman investor conference on Tuesday that that “we may be stupid for not being first on that" adding that “I don’t have the answers, I wish I knew” how the investments will evolve, he said. “I don’t know what to make of cryptocurrencies.”
In a surprising tangent, Sprecher gave another impetus for the bulls when he questioned the existence of natural sellers of bitcoin futures, or investors who short the contract, noting that much of the wealth in the bitcoin world has been amassed by data miners in China and algorithmic traders.
“To short that, that means they’re deciding to exit” the market through a futures market, Sprecher said. He decided that may not be a good scenario for one of his exchanges.
They may have a reason to do that if there are additional state crackdowns: one emerged on Wednesday morning in South Korea, where according to a Yonhap report a private association of cryptocurrency exchanges in South Korea which has emerged as one of the most active trading venues for cryptocurrencies, said that it will voluntarily restrict cryptocurrency transactions with bank accounts starting next year, in a bid to prevent such transactions from being used for money laundering and other crimes.
However, contrary to some headlines that South Korea would restrict crypto transactions, all this means is that the Blockchain Association, an industry group of some 30 cryptocurrency exchanges, including Bithumb and Korbit, said it will encourage customers just one bank account in the selling and buying of cryptocurrencies.
Under the voluntary restrictions, which will be implemented Jan. 1, customers will be discouraged from using multiple bank accounts, the association said. Currently, customers use virtual bank accounts when they buy or sell cryptocurrencies.
South Korea is home to one of the world's largest bitcoin exchanges, with about 1 million people estimated to trade the digital currency.