(Bloomberg) — surpassed a record $10,000 and approached $11,000 in the same day, taking this year’s price surge to 11-fold as buyers shrugged off increased warnings that the largest digital currency is an asset bubble.
The euphoria is bringing to the mainstream what was once considered the provenance of computer developers, futurists and libertarians seeking to create an alternative to central bank-controlled monetary systems. While the actual volume of transactions conducted in cryptocurrencies is relatively small, the optimism surrounding the technology continues to drive it to new highs.
Bitcoin has risen by about 70 percent since October alone, after developers agreed to cancel a technology update that threatened to split the digital currency. Even as analysts disagree on whether the largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization is truly an asset, its $178 billion value already exceeds that of about 95 percent of the members and is driving the debate about where financial technology is headed.
“It feels frothy, of course,” said Bob Diamond, chief executive officer of Atlas Merchant Capital, said in a Bloomberg television interview with Francine Lacqua. “I think the issue here is the disruptive nature of technology” for banks. “Whether it’s the application of blockchain, or their core processing, or delivery to customers or clients, financial services today is being disrupted by technology.” […]