Digital currency bitcoin has surged past $1,700, hitting a new all-time high after Minneapolis Federal Bank President Neel Kashkari mentioned that its underlying blockchain technology has more potential than bitcoin itself.
In a speech at the MN High Tech Association, Kashkari said he “thinks the sentiment has shifted in the markets,” and within the Federal Reserve.
“I would say I think conventional wisdom now is that blockchain and the underlying technology is probably more interesting and has more potential than maybe bitcoin does by itself,” said the Minneapolis Fed Bank president.
Analysts at ABI Research echoed that sentiment, saying that blockchain’s potential as a market beyond cryptocurrency can be analyzed against venture capital funding, which hit $500 million globally in 2016.
Currently, there are more than 1,500 start-ups on the blockchain scene, although not all of them are public. Some, according to the market research firm, are permissioned and private, while others are of hybrid nature or run by a consortium.
“While the cryptocurrency market may be maturing, IoT [Internet of Things] applications are still largely untested,” said ABI Research Director Michela Menting. “The excitement around bitcoin’s success is nonetheless fueling a great many endeavors beyond fintech that are likely to impact the IoT.”
Kashkari’s statement is viewed by analysts as the Federal Reserve’s positive stance towards not just blockchain, but also cryptocurrency, and has further fueled the confidence levels in the market.
External factors has often played a major role in bitcoin’s price increase. Last week, the popular digital currency cleared the $1,600 level following the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s announcement that it will review its earlier stance towards bitcoin exchange traded funds.
Before that, Japan’s increasing demand for bitcoin as well as the impending legalization of cryptocurrencies in Russia and possibly, India, have also contributed to the positive outlook of digital currency.
Current bitcoin price
Bitcoin’s price has reached the $1,720 mark during Wednesday’s early morning trading.