The Buzz Around Bitcoin – Nasdaq. Bitcoin may be the wonderkid halving bitcoin exchange the financial markets this year, with the price of the cryptocurrency, once dismissed as something reserved for the.

Join the NASDAQ Community today and get free, instant access to portfolios, stock ratings, real-time alerts, and more! Bitcoin may be the wonderkid of the financial markets this year, with the price of the cryptocurrency, once dismissed as something reserved for the geeks, cryptography enthusiasts and the darknet, skyrocketing to unprecedented levels, alternating with several nosedives. While Bitcoin did return to the limelight in 2016 after a lull, it is only this year that it grabbed the entire world’s attention as its price soared and there were some measures of acceptance into the mainstream asset market. A clone of the currency, named bitcoin cash, also emerged in August this year. 13,000, just days after futures trading in the cryptocurrency began. And it is such wild swings that are raising the crash warnings.

Chicago exchanges CME Group and CBOE Global Markets launched futures trading in Bitcoin in December. The NYSE filed an application with the Securities and Exchange Commission on December 20 to list two exchange-traded funds, or ETFs, tracking Bitcoin futures. Welcoming cryptocurrencies into the mainstream could bring them under some regulatory supervision, they hope. As the crypto-world goes gaga over the recent appreciation of Bitcoin and other crypocurrencies, voices of caution are growing.

Some top bankers have called the Bitcoin boom a fraud and central banks have issued repeated warnings of an asset bubble waiting to burst. Meanwhile, hackers are busy revealing vulnerabilities in the cryptocurrency protocols, challenging developers to come up with more secure solutions to fulfill the decentralized peer-to-peer network dreams. It is mainly the freedom linked to Bitcoin that is attracting users to the cryptocurrency. The digital currency is not issued or controlled by any government or state-run authorities and hence, it is not regulated. Another factor that is driving the Bitcoin price is the fact that its supply is limited. The algorithm that governs Bitcoin generation prescribes that bitcoins will be created when a new block is added to the network, which will be the mining reward. There will be a finite supply of 21 million bitcoins in the currency’s lifetime.

The number of bitcoins is set to halve every 210,000 blocks, which is likely to occur once in roughly four years. In July 2016, the Bitcoin mining reward was halved from 25 to 12. The next halving is expected to occur in 2020. Some are also attracted to the intrigue linked to Bitcoin as its origin remains murky. And the perceived anonymity linked to Bitcoin transactions has also retained it as a darling of the darknet. The real identity of its creator, who used the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto while proposing the digital currency in 2008, still remains a mystery, despite years of investigation by cryptocurrency enthusiasts, journalists, government authorities and so on.