Nearly every major cryptocurrency not named bitcoin is falling

Nearly every major cryptocurrency not named bitcoin is falling

Nearly every major cryptocurrency not named bitcoin is falling

Bitcoin now has a market value of more than $256 billion, meaning it would rank among the 20 largest stocks in the S&P 500.

The new high Wednesday morning is ahead of the launch of new bitcoin futures contracts by two major U.S. exchanges.

Head of marketing Andrej P. Škraba told Reuters that the hack was "a highly professional attack with sophisticated social engineering" and that about 4,700 Bitcoins, worth about $70m (£52m) at current prices, were lost.

In contrast to bitcoin's dramatic gains, global stock markets have been cooling down considerably into the end of the year after rallying notably in recent weeks. Futures for bitcoin will start trading on the Chicago Board Options Exchange on Sunday evening and on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange a week later.

As for how much room bitcoin has to run, some clients of investment bank Goldman Sachs appear bullish. JPMorgan Chase Jamie Dimon has called bitcoin a "fraud".

The price of bitcoin is surging on the back of a strong night-time trading session (18:00 to 24:00 UTC) in which the cryptocurrency rose 10 percent to top $14,000 for the first time.

At the time of publishing, bitcoin is trading to the dollar at $12,818.

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However, many remain critical of bitcoin.

The price of bitcoin swung wildly Thursday, rising to more than $19,000 only to fall sharply within minutes, as the frenzy surrounding the virtual currency escalated just days before it starts trading on a major US exchange for the first time.

Online security is a vital concern for such dealings. Such currencies are not tied to a bank or government and allow users to spend money anonymously.

In a warning for those who wish to invest in Bitcoins to make some big bucks, the cryptocurrency mining market NiceHash has revealed hackers wiped out its entire Bitcoin wallet, resulting in over $60 million loss.

A debate is raging on the merits of such currencies.

But bitcoin thefts by hackers have a long history. Others say they can be helpful methods of payment, such as in crisis situations where national currencies have collapsed.

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