USA Could Issue Its Own Digital Currency Next Year

The loss of Bitcoins with the cost of $70 million on Wednesday caused investors to think about the lack of security in virtual currencies.

Despite this, the frenzy surrounding the cryptocurrency continued to escalate, and on Thursday, bitcoin surged past $16,600 for the first time ever. On Thursday evening, bitcoin hovered just below $16,500, and ethereum, another cryptocurrency, was trading around $400.

The event, which made price to jump, is an announcement about starting Bitcoin futures on Chicago Board Options Exchange and CME Group’s (CME) platforms in mid-December. This move could have a legitimizing effect on the sometimes controversial currency.

Virtual currencies have been at the epicenter of debate this year, with some business investors criticizing bitcoin as a “bubble about to burst” — including CEO of JPMorgan Chase (JPM) Jamie Dimon, who labeled bitcoin a “fraud” — while other executives have suggested it could be the currency of the future, including Fireapps CEO Wolfgang Koester.

“I absolutely predict that the United States within 2018 will issue their own digital dollar, as I would call it,” Koester told FOX Business’ Liz Claman during “Countdown to the Closing Bell.”

Already, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and Russian President Vladimir Putin have announced plans to create their own, national cryptocurrencies, a policy change that would effectively eliminate the use of paper money as the national currency.

With this decision, the state leaders could gain almost total autonomy over using virtual currencies, becoming the owner of the ledger. This means they would have correct visibility into all transactions.

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