Bitcoin price LIVE: BTC rises as optimists return to predict $50,000 coin at 2018 end

BITCOIN is now back above the $8,000 mark and predictably the optimists have returned with some BTC believers predicting that the market cap will hit $1 trillion with BTC itself hitting $50,000 by the end of this year.

Afternoon UPDATE

Bitcoin is priced at $8,386 at the time of press, a rise of $804 on the day so far.

Bitcoin surged by more than $2,000 in just over a day yesterday as confidence began to return after a short spell without a deluge of negative headlines.

BTC traded 9.5 percent higher Wednesday peaking at just above $8,400.

The short spell of price rises have once again brought out all those who enjoy making grand claims about the future price of various cryptocurrencies.

Jamie Burke, CEO at Outlier Ventures is the latest industry figure to tell CNBC that the bitcoin bull run will be every bit as big as the last, but be followed by a general settling down of the market, rather than another slow slide south.

He said: “We believe after February the market will likely go on a bull run comparative if not greater than last year potentially reaching the trillion-dollar mark before a proper crypto winter sets in where the market becomes more focused on proper market fundamentals.”

Updates below throughout the day…

2.31pm – UPDATE – European Central Bank have their say

The Guardian is reporting that Yves Mersch, a member of the ECB’s executive board, said the European Central Bank  shared the views voiced by Agustín Carstens, the head of the Bank for International Settlements, who on Monday condemned bitcoin as “a combination of a bubble, a Ponzi scheme and an environmental disaster”.

He said: “We at the ECB are fully in line with his views and we have similar worries.”

11.42am – UPDATE – BTC forecasted to hit $43K by end of 2018

Price comparison site, has forecast BTC to hit $14,928 by March 1st.

Survey asked the panel of nine leading minds in the crypto-sphere on how the top 10 coins by market cap and three trending coins will perform in 2018.

Despite the recent crash panelists “remain optimistic”, with bitcoin (BTC) expected to remain the strongest coin.

Out of the 13 coins, the panelists predict bitcoin (BTC) will be worth $14,928 by March 1st up $3,840.20 from its value at the end of January – rising 34.63 percent.

Bitcoin is expected to continue to grow reaching $43,472 by the year’s end, over $10,000 more than January’s predictions.

10.44am – UPDATE – Bitcoin nears a $1,000 gain on the day so far

Bitcoin is up at $8,553 a $971 dollar rise on the day so far.

Ethereum’s return is more modest at $845, an $86 dollar return.

9.57am – UPDATE – Millennials prefer to put their money into ‘anti-establishment’ bitcoin

Most older people see cryptocurrency as too volatile and wild for their taste, but according to a new survey, millennials prefer to put their money in the “anti-establishment” bitcoin.

According to MarketWatch, over 82 per cent of millennials claim their decisions are based on the economic crisis in which many people lost their jobs along with vast portions of their personal wealth, while bankers received huge bonuses.

The study said: “Just 33 per cent of millennials say that they own stock, compared to 51 per cent of Gen Xers (ages 36-51) and 48 per cent of Baby Boomers (ages 52-70).

“Bitcoin’s anti-establishment roots and decentralised system brings with it the hope for a new economy that puts people over corporations.

“This is an extremely appealing message to millennials who watched their job outlooks dwindle as the financial crisis unfolded in tandem with their first-ever entry into the job market.”

This has been attributed to disillusionment with the traditional stock market after the 2008 financial crisis which happened when many millennials only recently finished secondary school.

08.45am – UPDATE – Ripple and Ethereum struggle to join recovery

Ripple is priced at $0.76 and Ethereum at $829 as the challenging pack seemingly misses out on BTC-like gains.

However, yesterday Ripple moved another small step closer to global mainstream adoption after partnering with LianLian International, an international money service company licensed in Hong Kong.

LianLian will use Ripple’s leading enterprise blockchain solution, xCurrent, to process real-time cross-border payments on behalf of merchants and consumers, including invoice payments and e-commerce payments, into China.

Emi Yoshikawa, Director of Joint Venture Partnerships at Ripple said: “Cross-border payments related to China’s e-commerce market reached $1.07 trillion in 2017. There is a huge opportunity to make these payments quicker and more cost-efficient.

“With RippleNet, LianLian will now be able to provide merchants and consumers with on-demand payments, which they weren’t able to before. We look forward to connecting other RippleNet members to LianLian.”

Arthur Zhu, Chairman of the Board, LianLian International, said: “LianLian International is a leader in the payout experience both into and out of China, as evidenced by the large number of our merchants and partners.

“With RippleNet, we will further enhance that experience and increase our market share by offering customers instant, blockchain-powered payments across the 19 currencies that we currently support. We look forward to working with Ripple to power payment flows between China and RippleNet members in new markets.”

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