Cryptocurrency Bitcoin has broke through R100,000 per coin in South Africa, according to Bitcoin exchange, Luno.
On Wednesday morning the price of a single Bitcoin in rands was at R100,036, hitting a new all-time high on news that the speculative trading currency would be ‘going legit‘.
The purely digital coin is taking a step into the mainstream of finance, with CME Group Inc announcing that it will introduce trading in Bitcoin futures by the end of 2017.
The announcement, which came on Wednesday, sent Bitcoin rallying to $6,400 per coin – up more than 550% this year.
“Legitimate” finance houses have been very cautious around Bitcoin, with JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon being the most outspoken, calling the cryptocurrency a fraud.
However, many others have expressed interest in getting involved with the Bitcoin market in some way.
With CME’s move – which still needs regulatory approval – the futures will open up ways for traders and investors to better short Bitcoin, and bet on declines.
Other groups that are ‘legitimising’ Bitcoin include startup, LedgerX, which is trading Bitcoin swaps and options, and Cboe Global Markets Inc, which also plans to introduce Bitcoin futures in 2018.
Late October, Bitcoin’s market cap surpassed $100 billion, shrugging off a clamp-down on cryptocurrency trading in China earlier in the year.
More than $3 billion has poured into other initial coin offerings this year despite warnings from the US Securities and Exchange Commission and other government watchdogs.