Bitcoin investors have come to expect sudden spikes and collapses in the cryptocurrency’s price as part of participating in a revolutionary opportunity. Unheard-of highs reached at the end of 2017 and a subsequent collapse in 2018 were simply another page in Bitcoin’s volatile history.

Even so, this year is shaping up as possibly the most volatile period for Bitcoin prices yet as a variety of factors, including regulatory clarification and continued security breaches exert pressure on the original cryptocurrency. Bullish investors, however, claim that prices, which have been slowly consolidating over the past few months, could break out to the upside with equal unpredictability as long-awaited institutional investors begin to participate.

With all these forces in the mix, 2018 might see prices soar just as easily as they could continue downward. Here’s a look at the main reasons why: The SEC’s recent decision to not place the “securities” tag on Bitcoin and Ether was praised as a major win for the cryptocurrency market, as it meant the top two cryptocurrencies fell outside of the SEC’s legal jurisdiction.

It also seemed to pave the way for a more mature futures market, regulated by the SEC’s sister agency, the Commodities and Futures Trading Commission. But while the announcement did provide some clarity on two of the most popular coins listed on the market, it left many important questions unanswered.

On the one hand, it opened the door for Bitcoin and Ether to both be traded on commodities markets, something the CME and CBOE already do for Bitcoin and appear to be planning for Ether. But the announcement’s language is important and while the SEC was clear on Bitcoin and Ether, it was noncommittal about classifying all cryptocurrencies in the same way. Read more from…

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