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Inside Bitcoin (Dec 5th, 2017)

$BTC (1:40 PM EST): $11,857.70 (4.57%)

90-day high: $11,664.80 // 90-day low: $3,260.70 // More… $BCH (1:41 PM EST): $1,552.78 (1.46%)

90-day high: $2,050.08// 90-day low: $275.90 // More

$ETH (1:42 PM EST): $465.09 (0.88%)

90-day high: $516.85// 90-day low: $198.72 // More

$LTC (1:42 PM EST): $103.07 (4.10%)

90-day high: $103.48// 90-day low: $37.87 // More

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Bitcoin continues to set new records. The cryptocurrency hit $11,831 per coin early Tuesday morning and continued to set new records into the afternoon. Bitcoin is up 18 percent in the last week and has gained 50 percent in the last month. The growth is attributed to institutional investors opening up bitcoin purchasing options. Futures contracts have "the potential to elevate cryptocurrencies to an emerging asset class," JPMorgan said in a note sent to clients last week. "The value of this new asset class is a function of the breadth of its acceptance as a store of wealth and as a means of payment," the analyst Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou and his team said in the note. "Simply judging by other stores of wealth such as gold, cryptocurrencies have the potential to grow further from here." –BUSINESS INSIDER

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A British man is prepared to dig up a landfill in hopes of finding a hard drive that holds 7,500 bitcoin. James Howells mined the bitcoin in 2009 when the cryptocurrency held almost no value, but he stopped after his girlfriend complained about the noise his computer constantly made. He put the hard drive in a drawer where it sat for four years until he spilled lemonade on it. He then threw it away. As the price of bitcoin has risen this year so has the value of the hard drive. At current prices, Howells’ hard drive is worth more than $80 billion – if he can find it. “It’s a big, expensive and risky project,” he said. –THE INDEPENDENT

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CryptoKitties, the ethereum-based game where players buy, sell and breed digital cats, now accounts for 20 percent of all ethereum transactions. That percentage continues to grow as users become more engrossed in the game. Players spent $2 million yesterday alone on the week-old game with the average cat trading for $100 in ether. As a result of the congestion, the game’s developers have doubled the birthing fee of new cats from 0.001 ETH to 0.002 ETH. “This will ensure your kittens are born on time!" the CryptoKitties team tweeted. Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin chimed in his support. "I actually like the digital cat games,” he said. “They illustrate very well that the value of a blockchain extends far beyond applications that would literally get shut down by banks or governments if they did not use one." -COINDESK

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The value of bitcoin is now greater than the GDP of New Zealand. As bitcoin’s price has soared above $11,000 per coin so has its market capitalization. The value of all bitcoins in circulation is now about $190 billion, about $5 billion more than New Zealand’s annual GDP. The cryptocurrency is also now larger than the GDPs of Qatar, Kuwait, and Hungary. Bitcoin is outpacing some of the world’s richest individuals. If Bill Gates, Warren Buffet and Queen Elizabeth all pooled their resources they would still be worth less than bitcoin. -TIME

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Economist Stephen Roach said bitcoin is a “dangerous speculative bubble.” Roach, a senior fellow at Yale University and former Asian chairman for Morgan Stanley, said he has never seen a chart of a security where the price has a vertical pattern and bitcoin has the most vertical of any pattern he has seen in his career. "This is a toxic concept for investors," Roach said. He continued, "Like all bubbles, they burst. They go down, and the one who's made the last investment gets hurt the most, there's no question about it." -CNBC

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