The price of bitcoin rose sharply on Boxing Day morning as cryptocurrency bulls reasserted themselves following a week of selling.
The price of a bitcoin rose by more than 7.7 per cent from midnight on Christmas day to the time of writing – a period of only nine hours – to almost reach $15,500, before retreating to around $15,000, according to the Coindesk price index.
Traders in bitcoin have already endured a highly volatile Christmas period, with cryptocurrency markets continuing to trade at all hours when other markets have been winding down for holidays.
Over the last month alone the value of bitcoin has started below $10,000, risen to just shy of $20,000, fallen to below $12,000, and recovered to above $15,000, as the cryptocurrency has started to gain mainstream momentum.
Bitcoin’s dollar value has increased by around 15 times over the last year, as investors from around the world have piled in to the crytocurrency in what a slew of economists have described as an investment mania signalling a bubble.
Bulls for the cryptocurrency – based on a decentralised blockchain transaction ledger – argue bitcoin will form the basis of a new form of money independent from traditional power structures such as governments and central banks, although the wild swings in value at present make it all but useless for day-to-day transactions.
The lack of control, along with huge volatility, have made regulators in traditional financial markets wary: the Israel Securities Authority (ISA) yesterday said it will ban bitcoin-related companies from its stock exchanges, according to Reuters.
At a conference yesterday ISA chairman Shmuel Hauser said: “We feel that the prices of bitcoin behave like bubbles and we don’t want investors to be subject to that volatility and uncertainty.”