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Investment Ideas Bitcoin passes more milestones as market cap tops $100-billion

Bitcoin coins are seen in an illustration picture taken at La Maison du Bitcoin in Paris, France, May 27, 2015.

© Benoit Tessier / Reuters

Another day. Another record for bitcoin.

The most widely used digital currency will now cost you about $6,125 (U.S.) apiece after blowing past the $5,000 and $6,000 price levels for the first time earlier this month. Bitcoin's total value is just over $100-billion, meaning it makes up more than half of the overall cryptocurrency market.

Cryptocurrency prices have been unfazed by recent regulatory crackdowns across the world and skepticism from Wall Street stalwarts including Warren Buffett and JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon. More than $3-billion has poured into initial coin offerings this year despite warnings from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and other government watchdogs.

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The price of ether, the second most valuable virtual coin, has climbed 8 per cent in the past week, eclipsing bitcoin's 4.8-per-cent gain during the same period, according to Coinmarketcap.com. That comes amid cautious comments from Advanced Micro Devices Inc., a company that makes hardware for mining ether.

"In terms of the headwinds, we have the semi-custom seasonality and we're also predicting that there will be some leveling-off of some of the cryptocurrency demand," Advanced Micro Devices Chief Executive Officer Lisa Su said last week on the company's third-quarter earnings call.

Morgan Stanley downgraded the stock Monday, citing the likelihood of a significant slowdown in graphics-chip sales to cryptocurrency miners.

"We believe that the cryptocurrency mining demand should fade in the coming quarters, similar to what AMD indicated on its conference call," Morgan Stanley analyst Joseph Moore wrote in a note to clients. "We think this creates a large hole for the company next year."

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