Bitcoin hits all-time high ahead of another potential fork

Bitcoin, the seemingly unstoppable digital currency, gave up some of its gains Monday morning after breaking through an all-time high above $US7,600 on Sunday.

The price of bitcoin was down 1.5% at $US7,295 a coin Monday, according to data from Markets Insider. Bitcoin spiked after CME, one of the largest exchange groups in the world said it was preparing to launch a bitcoin futures product by the end of the year.

Since the announcement bitcoin has gained over $US1,000 a coin.

The launch of bitcoin futures will likely open the door to more bitcoin-linked products and wider participation in bitcoin trading by other Wall Street firms. Kevin Beardsley of UK-based B2C2, a trading firm that executes multi-million dollar bitcoin trades, told Business Insider that the company is already seeing more interest in the cryptocurrency space from traditional hedge funds and foreign exchange companies.

“They see it as a way to have a non-correlated investment,” Beardsley said.”Institutional money is starting to pour in and we are seeing demand increase.”

A looming fork in bitcoin’s network might have also played a role in bitcoin’s recent rise. Disagreements in the cryptocurrency community over an upgrade known as SegWit2x could split bitcoin into two different cryptocurrencies. That would double the amount of coins for people who have their coins on an exchange or in a wallet backing the fork.

Trevor Koverko, the CEO of Polymath, a cryptocurrency technology company, told Business Insider that folks could be buying in before the fork to get that free cash.

“Speculation on this free money is driving up the price,” he said. “Smart traders are riding the wave and will pull out before the fork.”

Bitcoin is up more than 600% year-to-date.

Get the latest Bitcoin price here.>>

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