U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen may not think that cryptocurrencies play much of a role in the economy, but the head of the Bank of Canada said that the hype surrounding bitcoin keeps him awake at night.

Bitcoin ‘Keeping Me Awake at Night: Canadian Banking Chief

In a year-end speech titled “Three Things Keeping Me Awake at Night,” Stephen Poloz, governor of Canada’s central bank, told attendees at the Canadian Club of Toronto that three of his chief concerns heading into the new year are cyber threats, rising household debt due to the cost of housing, and the difficulties that younger Canadians face when trying to find employment.

However, before he concluded his speech, Poloz confessed that there is something else that causes him to lose sleep: “the noise I keep hearing about cryptocurrencies, especially Bitcoin.”

In true Festivus tradition, Poloz aired his list of grievances against bitcoin, beginning with the “misnomer” of calling it a cryptocurrency………

Source: Bitcoin ‘Keeping Me Awake at Night’: Bank of Canada Governor

Bitcoin’s market cap crossed $300 billion on Friday ahead of the launch of futures contracts on U.S. derivatives exchange CME. As a result of this rally, bitcoin is now the world’s 15th most valuable liquid currency, as measured by the M1 narrow money supply.

Bitcoin Price Hits New All-Time High on Bitfinex

Bitcoin achieved this historic milestone on Friday morning, following a rally that raised the bitcoin price to a new all-time high of $18,111 on cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex. This represented a single-day increase of nearly $2,000.

bitcoin price

Source: BitcoinWisdom

The global average bitcoin price rose somewhat higher, thanks to large premiums on Bithumb and other South Korean exchanges. At the time of writing, Korean exchanges priced bitcoin more than $1,000 higher than many exchanges that offer direct trading against the U.S. dollar.

bitcoin price

Source: CoinMarketCap

The rally is likely connected to the impending launch of bitcoin futures on CME. Although fellow Chicago exchange CBOE listed futures this week, CME is much larger, so its products are expected to attract more attention from institutional investors.

Bitcoin Now 15th Largest Liquid Currency

At $300 billion, bitcoin is now the world’s 15th largest currency, as measured by the M1 money supply, a classification that measures the value of physical currency in circulation, as well as liquid bank deposits.

Bitcoin is more valuable than the circulating currencies of both Hong Kong and India, and it is just a few billion dollars behind that of Saudi Arabia. However, bitcoin faces a steep climb before it can enter the top 10; the 10th spot currently belongs to Canada, whose M1 money supply totals $637 billion.

Source: At $300 Billion, Bitcoin Is Now the World’s 15th Most Valuable Liquid Currency

The bitcoin price rallied past $18,000 on Friday as traders rolled their altcoins profits back into the flagship cryptocurrency. Many top-tier coins, including ethereum, experienced price declines, causing them to lose part of the market share that they had fought to recoup during bitcoin’s mid-week slump.

bitcoin price

Source: CoinMarketCap

But although the markets were mixed, strong performances from bitcoin, ripple, and one other top-tier altcoin lifted the cryptocurrency market cap by $19 billion, raising it to a new height of $530 billion.

bitcoin price

Source: CoinMarketCap

Though not a milestone in and of itself, achieving the $530 billion mark was significant for another reason. Wall Street strategist Tom Lee attributes this year’s massive bitcoin price increase to the “network effect,” so it is fitting that the combined value of all cryptocurrencies has now surpassed the market cap of the most popular social network: Facebook.

bitcoin price

Source: Google

 Bitcoin Price Rallies Past $18,000

Though the majority of cryptocurrencies posted single-day declines on Friday, the bitcoin price rallied more than eight percent, enabling the dominant cryptocurrency to crack the $18,000 mark and inch closer to its all-time high. At present, the bitcoin price is trading at a global average of $18,134, which translates into a $303.6 billion market cap……..

Source: $530 Billion: Cryptocurrencies Become More Valuable Than Facebook

The ripple price received a 13 percent bump after the fintech startup revealed that it had put its 55 billion XRP tokens into escrow.

Ripple Price Rallies 13 Percent

The ripple price had spent the majority of the week in decline, falling from $0.254 on December 1 to $0.222 this morning. However, shortly before 1:00 UTC, the ripple price shot up as high as $0.272 before leveling off to a present value of $0.250 — a 12-hour gain of nearly 13 percent.

ripple price

XRP Price Chart | Source: CoinMarketCap

Ripple’s daily trading volume swelled to nearly $700 million, with nearly half of that concentrated on the South Korean exchanges of Bithumb, Coinone, and Korbit.

ripple price

Source: CoinMarketCap

Ripple Escrows 55 Billion XRP

The apparent justification for the upswing is the announcement that Ripple — the fintech startup behind XRP — had officially placed 55 billion of its estimated 61.8 billion XRP into escrow. Each month, 1 billion tokens will be unlocked for Ripple’s use, and any unused tokens will be placed back into escrow.

This development eliminated the threat that Ripple could flood the market with XRP, effectively crashing the price. Though highly unlikely, this scenario was possible since Ripple holds almost twice as many XRP than are currently in circulation. Now, XRP investors know with certainty the rate at which new tokens will enter the market, enabling them to better establish a fair value price for the token.

Source: Ripple Price Leaps 13% After Company Escrows 55 Billion XRP