Story by: Billy Bambrough
Bitcoin has been struggling recently, losing 40% of its value in just two weeks, as a civil war in rival cryptocurrency bitcoin cash and fears much-anticipated institutional investment will fail to materialize weigh on bitcoin and cryptocurrency investors.
Bitcoin’s woes have caused many to doubt the future of cryptocurrencies, though others are confident bitcoin and its peers will soldier on, with New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) chairman Jeff Sprecher among the more optimistic.
“The unequivocal answer is [digital assets will survive],” Sprecher said earlier this week at the Consensus: Invest conference in New York, it was first reported by CNBC. “As an exchange operator, it’s not our objective to opine on prices.”
Bitcoin has over the last two days climbed back over the psychological $4,000 mark after falling as low as $3,600 last week amid a rout that has wiped billions from the market capitalizations of the world’s biggest cryptocurrencies, including the likes of Ripple’s XRP and Ethereum’s ether.
The bitcoin price has fallen some 80% so far this year, with a sell-off this month sparked by rival cryptocurrency, bitcoin cash, splitting in two due to developers and miners failing to reach an agreement over its future.
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Sprecher, who is chief executive of the NYSE’s parent company Intercontinental Exchange, has backed bitcoin and cryptocurrency platform Bakkt, which intends to offer bitcoin futures trading from early next year and open bitcoin and cryptocurrencies up to a wider retail market through partnerships with coffee shop chain Starbucks and PC giant Microsoft.
As cryptocurrencies across the board fell this week, bitcoin’s dominance (its share of the total cryptocurrency capitalization) has ticked up over the course of the month, from lows of 51% in early November to 53% today—highlighting bitcoin’s enduring appeal to investors and cryptocurrency miners.