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Alternative Market Briefing

Demand for Bitcoin comes from geographic areas most affected by Cypriot financial crisis

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

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Nicholas Colas
Benedicte Gravrand, Opalesque Geneva: - The digital currency Bitcoin hit $100 yesterday (and $102 today), and has outperformed every currency this year. Its value on 1st January was under $15.

Bitcoin (or BTC) was created in 2009 as an open source software code by an unknown programmer (or several) and is a form of virtual cash shaped by demand and used to buy goods and services online. According to Bloomberg, there are approximately 10,952,975 Bitcoins in circulation with a market cap of around $864m. So it has become quite a phenomenon.

"In Spain, Google searches for "Bitcoin" and downloads of Bitcoin apps soared; Someone put out a press release promising a Bitcoin ATM in Cyprus. Far away, in Canada, a man said he'd sell his house for BTC5,362," Bloomberg comments.

We even heard in early March of the launch of the fist Bitcoin hedge fund by Exante, a brokerage company founded two years ago and based in Malta. Exante's Bitcoin Fund permits institutions and high-net worth individuals (although not those from the U.S.) to access the Bitcoin market with a licensed product, ......................

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