• Bitcoin rises above $6,600 for the first time on Wednesday morning.
  • Rise extends recent bull run for the cryptocurrency.
  • Fresh record high comes hot on the heels of CME Group’s plans to launch bitcoin futures.

Bitcoin continues to post record highs, climbing above $6,500 and then $6,600 for the first time ever on Wednesday.

The digital currency is up over 2% against the dollar to $6,616.37 at 11.00 a.m. GMT (7.00 a.m. ET):The Cryptocurrency News Group Bitcoin posts new record high above $6,600

Bitcoin has been continually posting record highs of late, breaking through the $6,300 and $6,400 for the first time in the last few days.

Wednesday’s rise appears to be a continuation of Tuesday’s rally, which was sparked by news that exchange operator CME Group is planning to introduce bitcoin futures.

Mati Greenspan, an analyst with trading platform eToro, said on Wednesday: “Not only is this a monumental testament to the belief in bitcoin and the demand in the market but it will also boost the liquidity by opening the market to many more interested players.”

Bitcoin traders in Telegram chat rooms are also speculating that this week’s bull run is partly helped by an upcoming “fork” in bitcoin’s underlying software. The SegWit2x software update is scheduled for November 16 and could split bitcoin in two, creating a new currency. This has happened in the past with Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin Gold, and in those cases, bitcoin holders got those new coins for free. As a result, investors may be piling into bitcoin in the hopes of a SegWit2x dividend.

Bitcoin has been on a tear in 2017, rising by over 500% against the dollar this year. The price rise has been driven by increasing mainstream adoption and awareness of bitcoin and cryptocurrencies more generally. At least 55 cryptocurrency hedge funds have sprung up this year, many of them focusing on bitcoin.

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