Bitcoin skyrocketed past $7,400 on Friday, hitting yet another record high.
The virtual currency had shot past the $7,000 mark for the first time Thursday and finished on $6,895.41 toward the end of the session. According to CoinDesk, the cryptocurrency reached a renewed all-time high of $7,454.04 at 6:40 a.m. ET Friday, after opening at $7,030. The jump in price saw bitcoin rise 6 percent.
Analysts believe more institutional investors could warm to the digital token after derivatives operator CME Group announced it would introduce bitcoin futures contracts this year. "This is bitcoin crossing the divide from the wild west of finance to the mainstream," Charles Hayter, CEO of cryptocurrency comparison website Crypto Compare, told CNBC in an email Thursday. "Futures from an incumbent exchange bring bitcoin and cryptocurrencies into the regulatory fold. This allows more complex financial products to be created and will eventually open the doors to institutional money."
CME's futures will be cash-settled and based on the CME CF Bitcoin Reference Rate (BRR), launched in November last year with Crypto Facilities, a digital cryptocurrency trading platform. The bullish activity that followed CME's announcement also saw the total value of all cryptocurrencies surge past $200 billion for the first time. The market cap of bitcoin alone is more than $124 billion. Bitcoin's price has risen 640 percent since the start of the year.