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Bitcoin Passes $400

Is this bitcoin’s week to bounce back?

Last week, bitcoin started making headlines when it broke $300 after it had spent much time teetering around the mid-$200s. Sure, it’s a long, long way away from bitcoin’s shiny days of Dec. 2013 when it topped the $1,000 mark, but there were signs bitcoin was on its way back up.

Now, bitcoin has reached its most recent price milestone and passed $400. In fact, bitcoin’s price was exactly $400.17 around 5 p.m. yesterday (Nov. 3). Just to put that into context, that’s a 70 percent hike in a month.

And so the bitcoiners are rejoicing. And its got the attention of the mainstream media. Everyone is talking bitcoin and the blockchain — the public distribution ledger that powers bitcoin (AKA bitcoin’s secret sauce that people have most recently realized the power of).

“The idea is now at the forefront of every financial institution, every corporation, every media outlet,” Bobby Cho, director of trading at New York-based exchange ItBit, told The Wall Street Journal. “Even if you’re reading about blockchain technology, you’re inherently reading about bitcoin also.”

But bitcoin still has plenty of skeptics and has kept many regulators at bay, not wanting to touch the volatile digital currency that’s still most often associated with criminal activity. But there’s still plenty of investors eyeing bitcoin and the blockchain.

“Now, the volatility is back,” Cho said, “and they’re thinking, ‘We can make some money here.’ These guys are looking for a product to trade.”

Bitcoin also made headlines as industry insiders have suggested that it will become the sixth largest global reserve currency in 15 years.

In a survey by U.K.-based Magister Advisors, which interviewed leading bitcoin companies, it was determined that roughly $1 billion will be spent by major financial institutions on blockchain-related projects during the next two years.

“We have now reached a fork in the road with bitcoin and blockchain. Bitcoin has proven itself as an established currency. Blockchain, more fundamentally, will become the default global standard distributed ledger for financial transactions,” Jeremy Millar, partner at Magister Advisors, said in a news release.

To check out what else is HOT in the world of payments, click here.

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