Finance


Bitcoin is getting a Black Friday boost.

The digital currency climbed above $8,700 to a record high Saturday following increased investor interest around the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday and Black Friday shopping.

Bitcoin rose more than 6 percent to a record high of $8,725.13, according to CoinDesk, trading around $8,674 midday on Saturday. Another digital currency, ethereum, also hit an all-time high of $485.18, according to CoinMarketCap.

“The move appears to be retail driven,” said Brian Kelly, a CNBC contributor and CEO of BKCM, which runs a digital assets strategy.

The largest bitcoin exchange in the U.S., Coinbase, added about 100,000 accounts between Wednesday and Friday — just around Thursday’s Thanksgiving holiday — to a total of 13.1 million. That’s according to public data available on Coinbase’s website and historical records compiled by Alistair Milne, co-founder and chief investment officer of Altana Digital Currency Fund. Coinbase had about 4.9 million users last November, Milne’s data showed.

Source: Alistair Milne, CNBC analysis of Coinbase data

“Anecdotally, everyone I have talked to in the cryptocurrency community has said that Thanksgiving table discussion was all about bitcoin, and that inspired many family members to buy bitcoin,” Kelly said. “I suspect that pattern was repeated across tables everywhere.”

Bitcoin has multiplied more than eight times in value this year amid increased interest from institutional investors.

The world’s largest futures exchange, CME, is planning to list bitcoin futures in the second week of December. The launch of a derivatives product for the digital currency will mark another step in establishing bitcoin as a legitimate asset class.

Bitcoin one-week performance

Source: CoinDesk

U.S. dollar-bitcoin trading volume accounts for 24 percent of total trading in the cryptocurrency, according to CryptoCompare. The Japanese yen has the largest share at 59 percent, while the South Korean won comes third at 10 percent, according to the website.

The bitcoin offshoot, bitcoin cash, traded slightly lower around $1,592, according to CoinMarketCap.



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