Bitcoin has stunned many investors by soaring 50 per cent this past week alone, cracking the US$16,000 mark on Thursday before retreating slightly from its highs. 

The rapid rise in the cryptocurrency’s value came days before bitcoin futures started trading on CBOE Global Markets Inc. on Dec. 10. The Chicago Mercantile Exchange’s (CME) bitcoin contracts will debut just over a week later on Dec. 18.  Bringing bitcoin futures to market is expected to boost interest in the cryptocurrency, but is also leaving investors to question how long the run can be sustained.  

A number of experts have weighed in on bitcoin’s rise, and what could happen to the currency once futures begin trading. Here’s what some of them have told BNN:

JASON DEL VICARIO, PORTFOLIO MANAGER, HOLLISWEALTH 

 

Jason Del Vicario discusses bitcoin and cryptocurrencies

Jason Del Vicario, Portfolio Manager at HollisWealth discusses bitcoin and cryptocurrencies.

“I must confess the rise in bitcoin has just been unbelievable. The primary concern I have with bitcoin is at this point it is unregulated…It seems unfathomable to me that the Federal Reserve or the Bank of Canada would just sit there and allow this to continue into perpetuity. If I was owning bitcoin that would be the one thing that would keep me at night.”

BILL BARUCH, PRESIDENT, BLUE LINE FUTURES  

 

Commodities trader: We're good to go on Bitcoin futures

Bill Baruch, president of Blue Line Futures, says his firm is gearing up to trade cryptocurrency derivatives as the Chicago exchanges race to introduce Bitcoin futures.

“In this bubble sort of spectrum, we could only be about one-third of that way in. And we could see this price double or triple…Ultimately [bitcoin future contracts are] great for bitcoin and bitcoin investors because it’s going to bring more attention, it’s going to further the logistics of the actual product itself… it’s just a very interesting space right now.”

SCOTT BAUER, MARKET STRATEGIST, CME

 

Here's how the CME's bitcoin futures contracts will work

The Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) launches bitcoin futures contracts on December 18th. Scott Bauer, market strategist at the CME, runs BNN through how the futures will work, and why your bitcoin investment should be just as liquid as your large caps.

“What’s going to happen when the market opens up? That is the million-dollar question … My gut feeling is that initially we will see some downward pressure in the price of bitcoin…because now, for the first time, we’re going to have the ability to have some sellers in the marketplace. That being said, I don’t know if that downward pressure is going to last for a day, a week, a month. But we will come to a balance.”

ROBERT HERJAVEC, CEO, THE HERJAVEC GROUP  

 

Robert Herjavec on bitcoin: Invest in the infrastructure, not the speculation

Robert Herjavec, CEO of Herjavec Group, joins BNN's Jon Erlichman for a look at what the cards could hold for bitcoin as it soars past US$12,000 and fast approaches $13,000, and how this astronomical rise of 1000 per cent in value in 2017 stacks up against the tech bubble of the late 1990s and early 2000s.

“It’s crazy… I really think the cryptocurrency is going to go up. It’s definitely a bubble. Its underlying technology, blockchain, is here to stay…I think, as an investor, I try to put the speculation aside and look at the underlying infrastructure.”

MIKE NOVOGRATZ, HEDGE FUND MANAGER

 

How billionaire Mike Novogratz would advise his family to invest in bitcoin

GMP Securities' Blockchain Technology Conference kicks off in Toronto today. BNN is joined by GMP Capital CEO Harris Fricker and Mike Novogratz, CEO of Galaxy Investment Partners, who are both heavily invested in the cryptocurrency space. Novogratz and Fricker tell BNN's Jon Erlichman how they would advise family members to invest, what companies to stay away from, and where they see bitcoin headed.

“I think it will be the biggest speculative mania of our lifetimes.”

JIM PATTISON,  CHAIRMAN AND CEO, THE JIM PATTISON GROUP 

 

Billionaire Jim Pattison on trade, housing, bitcoin and Marilyn Monroe

Jim Pattison, chairman and CEO of The Jim Pattison Group, runs a diversified business empire that runs deep into many areas of the Canadian economy, from media and forestry to entertainment and car dealerships. We talk trade, bitcoin, Vancouver real estate, and why Pattison spent $6.3 million to buy the dress that Marilyn Monroe wore when she sang happy birthday to U.S. President John F. Kennedy in 1962.

“We’ve been following it actually for, I don’t know, two or three or four years – but we’ve never invested in it up to now. We just don’t know enough about it. We can get into enough trouble all by ourselves with something we think we know something about without getting involved with [bitcoin] at this stage of the game.” 

TONY CHAPMAN, CEO, TONY CHAPMAN REACTIONS

 

Cause and Effect: Why Tony Chapman's not biting into bitcoin

Tony Chapman, CEO of Tony Chapman Reactions, joins BNN's Michael Hainsworth to explain why he's not biting into bitcoin despite the run the cryptocurrency has seen this year.

“If this is really going to happen – this currency is going to take over the world, are the world powers just going to stand by and let that happen?...What I do like is the blockchain technology. It’s the printing press of this century.”

CRAIG ERLAM, SENIOR MARKET ANALYST, OANDA

 

Bitcoin could rise more before bubble bursts: OANDA

Bitcoin has reached the nose-bleed sections, climbing above US$15,000 on Thursday. Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at OANDA, says it's difficult "to not fear a devastating bubble" may be building, but adds it could rise a lot more before the bubble bursts.

“We’ve seen some quite incredible moves over the course of the past week, and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the more bitcoin appears in the headlines, the more people are searching for it, and the bigger the speculative bubble is growing … I think the next couple of weeks it’s going to be very interesting though...people are going long bitcoin. The opportunity to short it just isn’t really there.  So it will be quite interesting when we start to see the futures start being traded if we start to see speculative shorts building up. ”

GREG NEWMAN, SENIOR WEALTH ADVISOR, SCOTIA WELATH MANAGEMENT

 

Bitcoin surges toward US$15,000 as milestone-breaking run continues

Bitcoin broke through US$15,000 in early trading Thursday, building on the winning streak that has propelled it to a better-than-50-per-cent gain this month alone. BNN’s Jameson Berkow and Greg Newman, senior wealth advisor, director and portfolio manager at Scotia Wealth Management, discuss what can justify that type of move.

“Anything could happen, I could be wrong, but I would suggest that there might be a heck of an air pocket.”

EDDIE GEORGE, FORMER NFL STAR

 

Ex-NFL star Eddie George on bitcoin: It appears to be in a bubble

Eddie George, former NFL star, joins BNN's Paul Bagnell at CIBC's Miracle Day 2017 for a look at how he's transitioned into a successful business magnate after his nine-season NFL career. He also talks about why he opened up an investment firm and his latest views on some of the hot button issues in the NFL.

“Everybody’s talking about bitcoin. I know that my grandma’s talking about bitcoin. It’s something that I’m keeping a close eye on. I’m still getting an understanding about it – getting my hands wrapped around the value of it, how it’s backed. It appears to be a bubble. But some guys really believe in it and they’re living by it. I’m just on more of the cautionary side – just going to see how it all plays out.”