Bitcoin has made a habit of setting all-time highs this year, as the world’s biggest cryptocurrency continues its seemingly unstoppable rise.
Earlier today, bitcoin markets traded at over $12,000 for the first time, setting a new landmark milestone in bitcoin’s journey to the mainstream.
At the time of writing, the price had increased still further, topping $12,682 according to the Coindesk BPI. This has also sent the total market cap of bitcoin soaring to beyond $200 billion, another significant achievement for the currency.
The global price surge in bitcoin is being led by South Korean exchanges, which often race ahead of the current global price for bitcoin. Markets there have witnessed bitcoin trading at above $14,000, similar to how the South Korean exchanges were the first to see bitcoin break $10,000.
Optimistic analysts see $14,000 as the next significant milestone for bitcoin, while some investors like hedge fund billionaire Mike Novogratz are eyeing $40,000 by the end of 2018.
While the $12,000 had been within reach for several days, markets have only now managed to buy up to beyond this level. However, given the volatility in bitcoin markets, there’s no guarantee prices will continue to rise from here.
The last week has seen numerous predictions of a pullback in the market, with many suggesting prices could fall back to below the $10,000 mark. However, markets thus far appear to have resisted this level of decline, reflecting widespread optimism about the prospects of bitcoin at current price levels.
Some investors will now feel a psychological floor price has been established in the market. As long as buy-side pressure remains, it seems clear that the prospects for bitcoin could continue to rise.
December is already set to be another significant month in the bitcoin story, with bitcoin futures going on sale later this month for the first time. This allows investors to take leveraged positions on bitcoin markets, and is expected to open up bitcoin to more institutional and mainstream investors.
Some analysts are expecting the launch of bitcoin futures to encourage a spate of activity in the market, which could mean anything for the underlying price.