03 January 2018


Bitcoin prices climbed on Wednesday after The Wall Street Journal reported that Founders Fund, run by Peter Thiel, a PayPal co-founder and early investor in Facebook, has bought millions of dollars of the volatile cryptocurrency.

Bitcoin was trading at $14,766.00 by 06:32 AM ET (11:32 AM GMT) on the Bitfinex exchange, after rising as high as $15,428.00 earlier.

The venture capital firm bought around $15 million to $20 million in bitcoin and has told investors that those holdings are now worth hundreds of millions of dollars following bitcoin’s price surge in 2017, the Journal reported.

In October, Thiel said people were “underestimating” bitcoin and compared the digital currency to gold.

“If bitcoin ends up being the cyber-equivalent of gold it has a great potential left,” he said.

The digital currency had risen around twentyfold since the start of 2017, climbing from less than $1,000 to as high as $19,891 on 17 December on Bitfinex and to more than $20,000 on other exchanges.

However, from its all-time high reached in mid-December, the price dropped by almost half over the rest of the month.

While bitcoin investors believe the decline was a natural correction after its breath-taking rally there have been warnings of an asset bubble from market regulators and central banks.

In late December, Morgan Sanley analysts warned that the real value of bitcoin could “be zero.”

Researchers noted that if bitcoin is not accepted as a rival to the U.S. dollar and other fiat currencies, then it is literally worth nothing.

On Tuesday bitcoin’s dominance of the cryptocurrency market fell to its lowest ever level amid growing interest in alternative digital currencies.

Bitcoin’s market capitalization was $231.7 billion, around 36% of the total value of all cryptocurrencies, its lowest ever market share. At the start of 2017, its market share stood at over 80%.

Meanwhile, Ripple, the second most valuable cryptocurrency by market cap after bitcoin, was trading at $2.373 on the Poloniex exchange after setting a fresh record high of $2.49 earlier.

Ripple’s market cap continued to climb on Wednesday, peaking at over $105 billion. Over the weekend, Ripple surpassed Ethereum to become the second largest digital currency after bitcoin.

Ripple rose in value by more than 32,000% over the course of 2017. It began the year trading at around $0.006 and ended at $1.98.

Ripple’s gains in 2017 outstripped the gains of Ethereum and bitcoin, which rose by roughly 9,000% and 1,400%, respectively.


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03 January 2018



Gold prices eased on Wednesday, pulling back from the previous days three month highs as the firmer dollar weighed.

Comex gold futures were trading at $1,315.70 a troy ounce by 04:36 AM ET (09:36 AM GMT). Prices rose as high as $1,322.90 on Tuesday, the strongest level since September 18, propelled higher by the weaker dollar.

Recent weakness in the dollar has supported gold prices by making the dollar-denominated metal cheaper for holders of other currencies.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, rose 0.11% to 91.66, pulling up from Tuesday’s three-and-a-half month lows of 91.47.

The index ended 2017 down 9.8%, the biggest annual percentage decline since 2003.

The dollar weakened as the global economy gained momentum, fueling expectations for tighter monetary policy in other countries, which would lessen the divergence between the Federal Reserve and other central banks.

Market watchers were looking ahead to the minutes of the Fed’s December meeting, where its raised interest rates, which were due to be released later on Wednesday. Two policymakers voted against the rate hike amid doubts inflation would accelerate as hoped.

Investors were also looking ahead to Friday’s U.S. job figures for December.

Elsewhere in metals trading, silver was down 0.44% at $17.13 a troy ounce, platinumadded 0.17% to trade at $949.40 a troy ounce and palladium was down 0.63% to $1,080.55 a troy ounce.

Palladium posted the strongest increase among precious metals in 2017, advancing 57% amid concerns over the supply outlook.

Copper was down 0.73% to $3.254 a pound. Copper prices added 31% for the year in 2017 as prices of the industrial metal were boosted by robust demand from China, the world’s largest base metals consumer, as well as a favorable global economic outlook and supply disruptions around the world.


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