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In 2014, the National Australia Bank closed accounts of businesses with ties to bitcoin,141 and HSBC refused to function a hedge fund with links to bitcoin.142 Australian banks in general have been documented closing down bank accounts of operators of businesses involving the currency.143
Plans were announced to include a bitcoin futures option on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange in 2017.144 Trading in bitcoin futures was announced to begin on 10 December 2017.145
The Winklevoss twins also have purchased bitcoin. In 2013 The Washington Post reported a claim that they owned 1% of all of the bitcoins in existence in the time.146
Other methods of investment are bitcoin funds. The first controlled bitcoin fund was established in Jersey in July 2014 and accepted by the Jersey Financial Services Commission.147
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In 2013 and 2014, the European Banking Authority148 and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), a United States self-regulatory organization,149 warned that investing in bitcoins carries significant risks. Forbes named bitcoin the best investment of 2013.150 In 2014, Bloomberg named bitcoin one of its worst investments of this year.151 In 2015, bitcoin topped Bloomberg's currency tables.152.
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According to bitinfocharts.com, in 2017 there are 9,272 bitcoin wallets with more than $1 million value of bitcoins.153 The exact number of bitcoin millionaires is uncertain as a single person can have more than one bitcoin wallet.
Bitcoin cost bubbles in 2011, 2013 and 2017Priceg (left y-axis, logarithmic scale) and volatilityh (appropriate y-axis).66
The price of bitcoins has gone through cycles of appreciation and depreciation referred to by some as bubbles and busts.159 In 2011, the value of one bitcoin rapidly rose from approximately US$0.30 to US$32 prior to returning to US$2.160 In the latter half of 2012 and during the 201213 Cypriot financial catastrophe, the bitcoin price began to rise,161 reaching a high of US$266 on 10 April 2013, before crashing to around US$50.162 On 29 November 2013, the price of one bitcoin rose to a peak of US$1,242.163 In 2014, the cost fell sharply, and as of April remained miserable at little more than half 2013 costs.
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According to Mark T. Williams, at 2014update, bitcoin has earnings seven times larger than gold, eight times greater than the S&P 500, and 18 times greater than the US dollar.167
Because of bitcoin's decentralized nature and its trading on online exchanges situated in many countries, regulation of bitcoin has been challenging. However, the use of bitcoin can be criminalized, and shutting down exchanges and the peer-to-peer economy in a given country would constitute a de facto ban.168 The legal standing of bitcoin varies substantially from country to country and remains undefined or changing in many of them.
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Seventeen other countries have comparable AML requirements.170 As of 2018update U.S. FinCEN receives greater than 1,500 weblink SARs a month involving cryptocurrencies.171
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission has issued four"Customer Advisories" for bitcoin and related investments.14 A July 2018 warning emphasized that trading in any cryptocurrency is often speculative, and there's a chance of theft from hacking, and fraud.172 A February 2018 advisory warned against investing an IRA fund into virtual currencies.173 A December 2017 advisory warned that virtual currencies are insecure because:.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has also issued warnings. A May 2014"Investor Alert" warned that investments involving bitcoin may have high rates of fraud, and that investors may be solicited on interpersonal media sites.175 An earlier"Investor Alert" warned about the usage of bitcoin in Ponzi schemes.176