As traders eye legitimacy, Bitcoin leaps past $US30,000
Bitcoin's digital currency accelerated its record-smashing rally over the weekend, starting the year for the first time with a rise over US$ 30,000 ($ 38,991), with more traders and investors betting that it is on its way to being a mainstream payment tool.
The price of the most common cryptocurrency in the world traded as high as US$33,099, with nearly all other markets closing in 2021 over the first weekend. It was last trading at $US32,439, up 10.5%.
In 2020, Bitcoin advanced more than 300 percent and gained more than 50 percent because just two weeks ago it reached $US20,000.
The blockchain currency has only been around for about a decade or so, and demand from larger US investors grew in 2020, attracted by its perceived inflation-hedging characteristics and rapid profit potential, as well as hopes that it will become a mainstream payment tool.
Investors said that restricted bitcoin supply, created by so-called "mining" computers that validate transaction blocks by competing to solve mathematical puzzles, has helped power upward moves in recent days.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, some even saw it as a safe-haven game, analogous to gold.
"It’s very likely that the asset will eventually pass $US100,000 per coin,"It's very likely that the asset will eventually pass $US 100,000 per coin. "People have been steadily losing faith in their government currencies for years, and the monetary policies resulting from the economic impact of the coronavirus have only accelerated this decline."
It operates on various exchanges, the largest of which is Coinbase, which is itself planning to go public and become Wall Street's first such site to list.
Similar blockchain, or electronic ledger, systems are used by many rival cryptocurrencies. Ethereum, the second highest, gained 465 percent in 2020 and was up nearly 5 percent at US$ 768.96 on Sunday.