Cryptocurrencies' Market Cap Hits Record $200B as Bitcoin Soars

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The cryptocurrency soared past $7,000 for the first time, just a month after crossing the $5,000 mark.

Bitcoin's price has been surging lately, as it presently sits at an all-time high of $7,326 as of this writing-more than double its price from early September.

"Given increasing client interest in the evolving cryptocurrency markets, we have made a decision to introduce a bitcoin futures contract", said Terry Duffy, CME Group Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.

Amid this development, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange Group, the universally recognized derivatives contracts exchange, has lately publicized the launch of Bitcoin futures by year-end.

Digital currency bitcoin took another leap higher on Thursday, rocketing above $7,000 for the first time after a more than tenfold increase in its value over the past year. The price rise has been driven by increasing mainstream adoption and awareness of bitcoin and cryptocurrencies more generally.

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"After all, bitcoin is the bellwether of the entire crypto market, and a regulated, developed exchange product gives confidence to trade large size for many institutions".

The new contract will be cash-settled, based on the CME CF Bitcoin Reference Rate (BRR), which provides a once-a-day reference rate for the USA dollar price of bitcoin.

The latest spike in value brings Bitcoin's yearly gain to well over 600 percent.

"From what we can identify, the only reason today to buy or sell bitcoin is to make money, which is the very definition of speculation and the very definition of a bubble", he said on Thursday.