Cryptocurrency bitcoin (BTC) pushed past the $8,000 barrier for the first time just weeks after surging past $7,000.
Bitcoin peaked at $8,020 on Bitfinex, dipping to $7,788 by Friday late morning. The market cap increased by an unprecedented $41bn, standing at $133.5bn in total.
The price increase follows an almost 30% – be precise when you can be drop over the weekend as technology update Segwit2x was dropped at the last minute. But investors cannot breathe easy just yet, as Coinbase warned on Friday that the “hard fork” may yet go ahead as a few miners still support the idea of change.
In order to protect investor funds, Coinbase pledged to disable Bitcoin sends and receives at 10am on November 17, and disable buys and sells an hour before the fork, predicted to occur between 2-4pm the same day.
Bitcoin Gold (BTG) launched Sunday night amid a slew of technical teething troubles. As bitcoin fell as low as $5,600, splinter currency Bitcoin Cash (BCH) rose to an all-time high of $2,446 on Sunday, rising above Ethereum to become the second largest cryptocurrency on the market. But BCH slipped dramatically again by Monday, dropping by over $800, then levelling off around the $1,000 mark on Friday.
The price slide seems to have been triggered by technical troubles at Korean exchange Bithumb, reports Interactive Investor. Bitcoin Cash had been growing relatively steadily since the beginning of October. Ethereum stood at $328 on Friday, remaining relatively close to the $300 line since late September. This relative stability follows a sharp fall to $159 on July 16 and a peak of $389 on September 1.
This week’s volatility sparked a consumer warning from the FCA on Wednesday. The CFDs watchdog stated concerns over charges, price transparency and leverage on cryptocurrency investments, branding them “an extremely high-risk, speculative investment”. The cryptocurrency market now stands at a megalith $219bn.
Regulators are already creeping in, with the CEO of Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), the largest futures clearing exchange, announcing future measures to limit erraticism.
BTG’s reputation took another hit on Thursday as rumours swirled on the Bitcointalk chatroom that BTG creator Jack Liao allegedly retained the 8,000 block pre-mine, prompting Bulgarian developer Martin Kuvandzhiev to allegedly profit from a 0.5% mining fee. Some mining pools were said to have removed code as it was publicly available, reports Cryptocoins News.