Bitcoin is Enjoying its Best Start to a Year Since 2012


Bitcoin is amongst the best held assets of 2019 nearly doubling in value from a year ago.

Bitcoin is enjoying its best start to a year since 2012, with enthusiasts pointing toward hopes for more widespread adoption of crypto-currencies as a factor fueling the rally.

The price of bitcoin recently approached $9,000 and was trading at $8,816.32 late Wednesday in New York, up 23% since the start of year. It hasn’t gained more in the year to Jan. 15 since 2012. Smaller rival digital currencies such as ether and Ripple Inc.-backed XRP coin are also up, rising 29% and 25%, respectively, so far this year. Bitcoin offshoots have also gained.

Bitcoin is enjoying its best start to a year since 2012.

Performances through Jan. 15 each year Investors point to renewed optimism about broader take up of crypto-currencies as the catalyst. CME Group this week launched options tied to bitcoin futures, a move that investors say could prompt more institutional interest in digital assets. A survey of financial advisers showed that a higher proportion expect to allocate to digital currencies in 2020 than in the past.

Michael Conn, a managing partner at Quail Creek Ventures in Los Angeles, which invests in digital assets, said he sees bitcoin and other crypto-currencies becoming more prevalent in people’s lives. That should lead to higher prices, he said, while adding he bought more bitcoin at the end of last year when it was trading at around $7,000.

“I think you’re going to see greater mainstream adoption,” Mr. Conn said. “You can see this happening already with Fidelity and other institutional players moving into the space.” However, the question remains even though institutions are making blockchain markets and platforms there doesn’t seem to be a market.

Bitcoin’s rally comes after a roller-coaster 2019 since there is real no need for Bitcoin and is merely speculation and large speculators are hurting the stock price. Bitcoin prices soared to almost $14,000 in the summer amid excitement over Facebook Inc.’s plans to launch its own libra crypto-currency.

But enthusiasm for Facebook’s project faded later in the year amid regulatory concerns in the U.S. and elsewhere. China and other countries are still working on their own still, bitcoin prices nearly doubled for the full year, making it one of 2019’s best-performing assets.

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Economics, Finance and Investing