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Bitcoin’s Rally “to the Moon” Seems Unstoppable as CME Futures are Approved: Week in Review Dec 4

Bitcoin’s Rally “to the Moon” Seems Unstoppable as CME Futures are Approved: Week in Review Dec 4

Reading Time: 4 minutes by on December 4, 2017 News Digest

The price of bitcoin hit a new all-time high of $11,800 in the past week as the cryptocurrency’s positive momentum continues.

While many believe that the price of bitcoin has gone up too high too quickly, which would suggest that a sharp correction could be just around the corner, the new money flowing into bitcoin is pushing the price of bitcoin up the new highs for several weeks in a row now – albeit with quite some volatility.

After bitcoin’s highs near $11,400 on November 29, the price of bitcoin dropped by almost 20 percent within 24 hours, only to recover above the $11,000 mark again over the weekend and push toward $11,800.

That new inflows into bitcoin have been fuelled by the announcement that Nasdaq intends to launch bitcoin futures in mid-2018 and the CME’s regulatory approval to start trading bitcoin futures in mid-December as well as growing bitcoin awareness as bitcoin is going mainstream as an investment asset.

The altcoin market also experienced a stellar week with cryptocurrencies such as DASH, monero (XMR), IOTA (IOTA), and litecoin (LTC) hitting new all-time highs as bitcoin’s appreciation is also pulling up other coins during this year-end rally.

This week’s review is compiled from contributions by Joseph Young, Priyeshu Garg, and Rahul Nambiampurath, and Robert DeVoe.

Study Reveals at Least $26.4 Billion Worth of Bitcoin Lost Forever

According to research conducted by cryptocurrency-focused digital forensics company Chainalysis, at least 2.78 million bitcoins are forever lost on the Bitcoin blockchain network. This number could even be as high as 3.79 million bitcoins.

At today’s market price, 2.78 million bitcoins are equivalent to roughly $26.4 billion, given that the price of bitcoin has increased nearly 37 percent, from $6,000 to $9,500 in the past month. Using empirical data provided by the transparent Bitcoin network, the Chainalysis research team calculated the number of bitcoins that are “out of circulation.”

Bitcoin Exchange Regulations Near Completion in South Korea

It has been reported that the authorities in South Korea are getting close to finishing a set of regulations that are related to cryptocurrency exchanges and bitcoin.

The financial authority and regulator in South Korea is the Financial Services Commission (FSC), and they have outlined how these regulations are going to take shape. Their primary focus is to ensure that cryptocurrency exchanges play by their rules and maintain a strict hold on the sector in the country.

The regulatory body announced in 2016 that they had plans to bring in specific regulations related to the bitcoin exchanges, focusing mainly on areas of licensing and regulatory parameters. They want to systemize digital currencies in the same manner as in other developed countries like Japan and the United States.

Iran’s HCC Welcomes Bitcoin with Regulations

The High Council of Cyberspace in Iran (HCC) has announced its acceptance of bitcoin in Iran, albeit under strict regulations. Although cautious in its initial approach, the Iranian authority spoke positively about the future of the use of cryptocurrency in its society. With the aim of keeping all bases covered, the HCC has imposed strict regulations to govern the use of bitcoin and altcoin in the country.

Secretary of the HCC, Abolhassan Firouzabadi spoke of the above to ILNA, a local news agency, of the acceptance of bitcoin. He expressed that there are already a large number of people in Iran who are dealing with the cryptocurrency in various ways.

Elon Musk Denounces Claims of Being Bitcoin’s Founder

On November 22, 2017, a Medium post on the website Hackernoon caught the attention of the entire cryptocurrency market with claims that Elon Musk was the original creator of Bitcoin. An independent writer, Sahil Gupta, wrote the original article using the Medium platform.

Gupta’s article argued that Elon Musk’s experience with cryptography, economics, and programming made him fit the bill almost perfectly.

Shortly after, the founder of Tesla took to Twitter and publicly denied these claims on November 28, 2017, in an almost direct response to growing media coverage on the subject.

Major Ethereum Scaling Solution Casper to Enter Testnet Soon

Lane Rettig, an Ethereum researcher, and founder at CryptoNYC, New York’s first blockchain-focused coworking space and app studio, has revealed that the Casper FFG testnet will launch soon, and moves closer to being implemented onto the Ethereum blockchain network.

Casper FFG is a solution introduced and developed by Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin; it utilizes a hybrid Proof-of-Work (PoW) and Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus protocol to minimize mining and further scale the Ethereum network at an exponential rate.

CME Launches Bitcoin Futures Trading December 18 Following CFTC Approval

In what has been a highly anticipated development, a specific date has finally been announced for the launch of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc.’s (CME) bitcoin futures. The news comes after they finally got the go-ahead confirmation from the regulator to offer these investment products.

Though the announcement was made earlier, the specific date for launch was only revealed on December 1. The CME is the largest futures exchange in the world, and it has successfully come through the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) testing to be allowed to launch this new product on December 18, 2017.

After the announcement, the price of bitcoin rose as the market anticipates the large influx of institutional money in just under three weeks’ time.

Chinese Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Exchanges are Prospering Overseas

Leonhard Weese, the founder of the Bitcoin Association of Hong Kong, revealed in a November 29 Forbes article that OKCoin, Huobi, and BTCC, which were once the three largest cryptocurrency exchanges in China, are prospering in overseas markets such as Hong Kong.

In September, the Chinese central bank People’s Bank of China (PBoC) and local financial authorities cracked down on cryptocurrency exchanges, imposing an indefinite ban on trading bitcoin and other cryptoassets.

By the first week of November, all of the exchanges in the Chinese bitcoin market had shut down and relocated to neighboring countries. BTCC, OKCoin, and Huobi settled in Hong Kong and began to provide over-the-counter (OTC) trading services to international users. OKCoin and Huobi rebranded to OKEx and Huobi Pro respectively and started serving traders in Hong Kong and other markets within Asia.

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