By David Z. Morris
December 17, 2017

The price of one bitcoin (BTC) reached a new all-time high of $19,783.06 early Sunday before dropping back below $19,500, according to Coindesk’s price index.

As of this writing, bitcoin’s price has risen more than 5% in 24 hours, and is up 1,824% since Jan. 1 of this year, when a single Bitcoin could be had for just under $1,000.

Bitcoin’s continued surge does track some positive news, including the expected activation of a bitcoin futures product from CME Group.

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Other cryptocurrencies are broadly tracking bitcoin’s continued rise, with Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and Litecoin (LTC) all up between 3 and 7% over 24 hours.

One other notable mover was the little-known upstart coin Cardano, which has exploded by more than 90% over 24 hours. Cardano has been described as the “Ethereum of Japan,” incorporating Ethereum’s smart contracts features with some privacy protection.

However, there is still broad concern that the cryptocurrency market is in a tenuous bubble — 96% of economists surveyed by the Wall Street Journal last week believe bitcoin’s price surge is driven by speculation on the future potential of blockchain technology, which provides secure value transfer over the internet. Bitcoin’s functionality, meanwhile, remains hampered by network congestion and technical squabbles within the developer community.

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