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Forex traders who been following the fortunes of the leading cryptocurrency Bitcoin may well have their heads in a spin. The wildly gyrating alternative to paper money has been on another rocket-powered roller-coaster ride in recent weeks, shedding eye-watering amounts in minutes and, just as quickly, gaining it back and plenty more.

It’s the brave new world of crypto-finance and, for investors in this computer-generated market, the risks are all too real. At the time of writing, one Bitcoin is worth a record $8,150 (£6,158). That compares to being practically worthless in 2010 and averaging a few hundred dollars during the last few years.

But earlier this year, the value of this peculiar currency that sidesteps central banks’ financial control and is being accepted by a growing number of retailers, started shooting up. From January to March of 2017, it broke through the $1,000 barrier for the first time, occasionally dropping below, only to soon recover. Things really went wild in the middle of the year, with Bitcoin climbing by thousands each month, then losing thousands, then achieving a record value of $7,300 at the beginning of November.


Some investors are now viewing Bitcoin on a level with gold — they think it’s going to be that solid and reliable. And some industry analysts are starting to think that way too. “It’s definitely had some impact on the market. People see Bitcoin prices going to the moon. No one thinks gold is going to the moon,” said Bitcoin watcher and precious-metal dealer Philip Newman.

The rising interest in bitcoin as a trading strategy is coming from good regulatory news from Japan for the cybercurrency and growing numbers of institutional investors getting in on the action.

Here in the UK, the governor of Bank of England has almost lauded Bitcoin — or at least the technology behind it — but before it raced ahead with it current valuation and all the steep losses and gains. “New technologies could transform wholesale payments, clearing and settlement,” he said, potentially leading to greater efficiencies, accuracy and security over traditional currencies.


Meanwhile, many remain baffled by Bitcoin and exactly what it is. But a growing number of people involved in the financial markets — even amateurs operating from their homes and dabbling in the Forex markets — are finding out about adding bitcoin to their forex trading strategies. For anyone who got in on Bitcoin when the price was low and scooped up as much as they could, they can now cash them in for big returns.

Bitcoin, of course, is not the only cryptocurrency. Others include Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash (nothing to do with paper cash as it’s still digital), Ripple and Litecoin. But with a current market capitalisation of $116.8 billion amid a total cyber-currency market capitalisation of $208 billion, Bitcoin is the clear favourite among investors.

No-one can predict what will happen to Bitcoin. Whether it will quickly fizzle out in a blaze of cyber-glory and become something of the Dutch tulip craze, or become even more successful and take on established currencies and outpace them, is anyone’s guess. One thing is for certain, however: this mysterious electronic money created by an equally mysterious Japanese man (or group of disgruntled bankers) will be around for some time to come.