Bitcoin flirted with $ 17,000 on Thursday, triggering a warning the cryptocurrency was like a “train with no brakes” and prompting fresh concerns about its looming launch on mainstream markets. Still under $ 14,000 in Asian trading hours, it smashed through $ 15,000 in European trading and got as high as $ 16,777 before pulling back, according to Bloomberg data. Near 2145 GMT, bitcoin stood at $ 16,070.
The rally came just a day after the virtual currency, which was used to buy everything from an ice cream to a pint of beer, hit the $ 12,000 mark for the first time. The eye-popping is so much more than 50 percent in just one week, and just $ 752 in mid-January. Bitcoin – which came into being in 2009 – a bit of encrypted software – has no central bank backing it and no legal exchange rate. It has been dramatically in the past month, driven by growing acceptance among traditional investors of an innovation that is considered the preserve of computer nerds and financial experts, and sometimes more shady users. But some, including the US Federal Reserve, have been warned against dabbling in bitcoin and it has increased. “Bitcoin does not seem like a charge,” said Shane Chanel, Sydney-based ASR Wealth Adviser. “There is an unfathomable amount of new participants piling into the cryptocurrency market.” But he warned: “We are more likely to see some sort of correction.” – Financial industry concerns – There is also a discussion about the introduction of the current financial system by the United States. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s decision on the future of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), from December 18. But the Futures Industry Association, which groups some of the world’s largest derivatives brokers, criticized the CFTC’s move in a letter to the regulator, saying contracts are being rushed through without actually weighing the risks. “The association said.” Bitcoin transactions happen when heavily encrypted codes are passed across a computer network. Goldman Sachs, an FIA member, plans to clear future contracts for some customers, said spokeswoman said. “Given that this is a new product, we expect the specifications and risk attributes for the bitcoin future contracts as part of our standard due diligence process,” she said. The NiceHash marketplace was meanwhile on Thursday investigating a security breach resulting in the theft of bitcoin. “Clearly, this is a matter of deep concern, and we are working on it to rectify the matter in the coming days,” NiceHash said in a statement. “In addition to undertaking our own investigation, the incident has been reported to the relevant authorities and law enforcement and is co-operating with them as a matter of urgency.” Bitcoin and other virtual currencies use blockchain, which records transactions that are updated in real time on an online ledger and maintained by a network of computers. In 2014 major Tokyo-based bitcoin exchange MtGox collapsed after admitting that 850,000 coins – worth around $ 480 million at the time – had disappeared from its vaults. Bitcoin’s use on the underground Silk Road website, where users could use it to buy drugs and guns, also raised suspicions about the virtual money.