It’s not just stock markets hitting record highs: bitcoin just hit $6,000

Bitcoin bounced back from a dip earlier last week and briefly broke the $6,000 mark. Similar to the phenomenon seen in equity markets of recent times, pull backs are being taken as buying opportunities that go on to fuel higher highs.

Given the volatility of cryptocurrencies, it remains to be seen if bitcoin maintains this latest charge, but it nevertheless shows the market is in rude health. The surge in the bitcoin price comes as the sector shrugs off news from US regulators eyeing further oversight of the digital currencies.

But the main reason for the latest price explosion is the upcoming fork (25 October) which will see a new coin created called Bitcoin Gold which will be distributed free to bitcoin owners.

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As the price of bitcoin continues higher, one well-followed coin picker on the Telegram chat channels told his audience to dump all altcoins, in other words everything except bitcoin, in the expectation that the price will continue heading north if it holds the 6,000 breach; ‘Btc only from now till hardfork guys’ said the telegram oracle.

Although by no means a scientific sample, a survey conducted on the website of financial news channel CNBC, found that 49 per cent thought the bitcoin price would rise above $10,000, although 35 per cent agreed with JP Morgan Chase chief executive Jamie Dimon, that investors would ‘pay the price’ for succumbing to the fear of missing out.

If you live in Zimbabwe, where bitcoin's popularity is soaring against the backdrop of an ailing economy, the price quoted for the currency on the exchange that serves African investors is already at $10,000. Prices between exchanges often vary. For example, in India the price of bitcoin has been above that quoted elsewhere as a result of the negative views and actions of regulators in the country.

The arbitrage opportunities presented by the Zimbabwe price premium can be exploited, especially by those with connections in the country, through selling to Zimbabwe holders using over-the-counter services such as that matches sellers and buyers. 

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