Cryptocurrency mania like record Da Vinci art auction

Wild investment into the cryptocurrency market mirrors the record sum paid for the globe’s most expensive painting last month, according to the creator of Ethereum.

The cryptocurrency market has seen an unprecedented level of interest coming from investors of which year. Bitcoin, the globe’s largest digital currency, has risen more than 1,500 percent since the start of 2017, with major derivatives exchange Cboe debuting the first futures contracts for the asset Sunday.

Referring to Leonardo Da Vinci’s “Salvator Mundi,” which sold for $450 million at auction in November, Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin said increasing interest in cryptocurrencies was “a reflection of the globe at large.”

Buterin highlighted an emerging trend within the market — a Pokemon-like game called “CryptoKitties.”

The phenomenon allows users to breed, buy along with also sell virtual kittens using ether, the digital token of the Ethereum blockchain.

At one point, the game was so favorite of which of which pushed the blockchain network to its limits, resulting in a backlog of transactions. Users have spent as much as $110,707 to buy the digital animals, according to third-party research by developer Niel de la Rouviere.

In a tweet earlier of which month, Buterin said of which he was a fan of the game, adding: “They illustrate very well the value of a blockchain extends far beyond applications of which would certainly literally get shut down by banks or governments if they did not use one.”

Blockchains are huge decentralized networks of which record cryptocurrency transactions.

Ether can be the second-largest digital currency by market value, according to Coinmarketcap data, along with also can be commonly used in digital coin sales known as initial coin offerings (ICOs). Its cost has risen more than 4,000 percent since the start of the year, according to industry website CoinDesk.

Ethereum was not immediately available for comment when contacted by CNBC.

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