– [Narrator] Bitcoin's meteoric rise is attracting a ton of attention, but is it ready for the mainstream? JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon recently called Bitcoin a fraud and said that cryptocurrency prices are in a bubble that will eventually burst Many investors have stayed on the sidelines as cryptocurrencies are seen as too volatile and don't have the safeguards that most financial assets do

A number of hedge funds, however, are investing in cryptocurrencies, and Goldman Sachs is reportedly exploring how it can help clients trade digital tokens Other companies are stepping up efforts to bring cryptocurrency to the mainstream, opening regulated exchanges, creating futures contracts and attempting to list exchange traded funds The recent surge in cryptocurrency prices has coincided with a flood of interest about the blockchain technology behind Bitcoin, which uses a decentralized and public ledger of transactions that can't be manipulated IBM, Microsoft and Toyota have all invested in blockchain and are looking at potential applications ranging from food safety to driverless cars So what is preventing even more widespread adoption? Regulation, or the lack thereof

In July 2017, the SEC announced that federal securities law may apply to some cryptocurrencies, without providing concrete guidelines to determine which ones Meanwhile, China has outright banned ICOs, or Initial Coin Offerings, along with the exchanges where coins are traded Guidelines for individuals that mine and trade cryptocurrencies also vary wildly, with countries like Venezuela going as far as putting miners in jail So what's next in the year ahead? The cryptocurrency community is eager for clarity from regulators on ICOs, trading, mining and taxes As that happens, more investors and end users could dip their toes in the water

Many have compared the current state of blockchain to the early days of the internet, a digital wild west teeming with opportunity and just like the internet, there will likely be winners and losers