Cryptocurrencies’ market cap hits record $200 billion as bitcoin soars

Bitcoin medals. (AFP)
Updated 03 November 2017
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Cryptocurrencies’ market cap hits record $200 billion as bitcoin soars

LONDON: The aggregate value of all cryptocurrencies hit a record high of over $200 billion on Wednesday, according to industry website Coinmarketcap, putting their reported market value at more than that of US banking giant Citigroup.
The new record came as the biggest and best-known cryptocurrency, bitcoin, hit a record high of $7,500 on the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp exchange, after a more than tenfold increase in value over the past 12 months.
That took its own “market cap” — its price multiplied by the number of coins that have been released into circulation — to a record high of more than $120 billion.
The second-biggest cryptocurrency, ether — sometimes known as “Ethereum” after the project behind it — has a market cap of just below $30 billion, with another 1000 or so rival digital currencies making up the rest of the $200 billion.
If the cryptocurrency market were a company, its valuation would put it in the top 25 firms on the S&P 500 stock index.
The latest surge in bitcoin was driven by news this week that CME Group, the world’s largest derivative exchange operator, would launch bitcoin futures in the fourth quarter of the year, as well as speculation that Amazon could be set to accept the digital currency.
Many are concerned that the market represents a bubble, with the latest warning coming from the head of Credit Suisse on Thursday.


High-level Russian delegation in Iraq to discuss trade ties

Updated 16 min 25 sec ago
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High-level Russian delegation in Iraq to discuss trade ties

  • The two sides discussed trade in agriculture and industry
  • Iraq is reliant on imports to feed its population, and imports a significant portion of food items from Iran

BAGHDAD: A high-level Russian delegation is visiting Iraq to discuss trade and economic cooperation between the two countries.
The delegation, headed by Deputy Prime Minister Yury Borisov, met with Iraqi Foreign Minister Mohammed Alhakim on Thursday.
Borisov said the two sides discussed trade in agriculture and industry and said his country is seeking to increase food exports to Iraq.
Iraq is reliant on imports to feed its population, and imports a significant portion of food items from Iran.
The Russian delegation is expected to meet Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi later in the day.