Cryptocurrencies reach record market cap after bitcoin surge

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The market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies soared to a record high Wednesday, on the back of a jump in the price of bitcoin.

The total value of the digital currencies topped $185 billion for the first time at around midday ET, according to data from industry website Coinmarketcap.

Bitcoin, the world’s largest cryptocurrency, shot above $6,600 earlier in the session, mere hours after breaking through the $6,400 mark. The market cap of bitcoin alone is currently more than $109 billion.

The price of the virtual currency made fresh gains after derivatives titan CME Group said it would introduce bitcoin futures at theend of the year.

CME said its bitcoin futures contract would be cash-settled and based on the CME CF Bitcoin Reference Rate (BRR), launched in November last year with London-based online trading platform Crypto Facilities.

Cryptocurrencies have received their fair share of criticism from a number of economists, regulators and banking executives this year.

Last month, Harvard economist Kenneth Rogoff predicted the price of bitcoin would likely “collapse” as it faced continued pressure from governments.

Rogoff’s comments followed China’s decision to ban domestic bitcoin exchanges, a move which saw the currency dip significantly, only to soon make a recovery.

And JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon notoriously referred to bitcoin as a “fraud” that will eventually “blow up”.



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