A "Bitcoin crash" tops the list of possible risks to watch for in 2018, said a Deutsche Bank's report listing 30 developments such as rising inflation, danger from North Korea and Robert Mueller's investigation of Russian meddling in 2016 US presidential election among others.
Torsten Slok, the German Bank's chief international economist, said the sudden surge and drop in Bitcoin will remain a top concern among the market analysts in 2018. "You wonder where prices will even be by the end of 2017," he told CNBC. Essentially, Bitcoin's non-transparent regulation and disclosure system require attention to prevent any impact on the markets, he suggested.
"It's mainly because it is something that I think financial markets so far have been discounting as a small issue. We do worry a bit that it could become more systemic, in particular, if the current trends continue into 2018," he said.
As a precursor to 2018 developments, the CBOE Futures Exchange (CFE), one of the largest exchange holding companies launched trading of bitcoin futures Sunday, Dec. 10, facing near-crash of its website. In a tweet, CBOE said:"Due to heavy traffic on our website, visitors to http://www.cboe.com may find that it is performing slower than usual and may at times be temporarily unavailable. All trading systems are operating normally."
Trading under the symbol XBT, Bitcoin's current price is ranging between $14,000 and $15,000-mark, surging more than 1,550% in 2017 alone. The total cryptocurrency in circulation is valued at more than $259 billion.
Baffled at its steep price hike, Jim Cramer, host of CNBC's Mad Money, has voiced two major concerns -- lack of government oversight on Bitcoin and its vulnerability to hacking. "When, not if, but when, that (hacking) happens, it will be a total loss as there's no insurance and no fiat backing," he warned.
Irrespective of the discontent, January futures price of Bitcoin rose from $15,000 to over $18,000, halting the circuit trade twice on Monday.