The price of Bitcoin smashed another record early Thursday morning — $7,000 for each unit of the digital currency.
As of 7 AM Eastern time, BTC is selling for $7,191.16, according to data from Coinbase. Bitcoin — which is minted by a decentralized network of miners, not a governing body — hit this latest benchmark with a single-day increase of nearly $640, only 13 days after it first became valued at $6,000. If an individual bought 1 BTC exactly one month ago, it has grown $2,902.33 or +67.67% in value.
The surge came just days after CME Group, the world’s largest futures exchange, announced it would begin offering its customers contracts for trading Bitcoin futures.
Bitcoin’s meteoric rise continues amid uncertainty about its future. In a few weeks, the currency will undergo a “hard fork,” or a split in Bitcoin’s blockchain, creating two different versions of the currency to implement a coding update that has been extremely controversial in the Bitcoin community. “Segwit2x,” which is designed to increase the number of transactions that the BTC blockchain can handle, will have drastic effects on the currency’s mining process.
A thorough explanation of the controversy can be seen here:
Earlier this week, Bitcoin prices surged over speculation that China might relent as the October 31 deadline approached for its announced ban on domestic digital currency exchanges trading against the yuan. However, the People’s Republic followed through, and now existing Chines exchanges have shifted their operations to other Asian countries.
Ethereum, the top digital currency behind Bitcoin, has plunged in price as Bitcoin enjoys its massive surge, falling from a 24-hour high of $301.41 to $277.82 Thursday morning.
However, this Tuesday, Amazon bought the domain names amazonethereum.com, amazoncryptocurrency.com, and amazoncryptocurrencies.com, fueling speculation that it may get into the action on decentralized digital currencies. Ethereum is not just a currency like Bitcoin but an app development platform — the Windows or OSX of blockchain. The domain purchase could be a sign that Amazon may join the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance — a group of large companies, including JP Morgan and Microsoft, putting their weight behind blockchain tech.