Bitcoin in uncharted territory as price surges to new record

The world’s most well-known cryptocurrency traded at a fresh record high above $20,000 on 17 December, nearly three years after the asset slumped as it attempted to breach a similar price.

Bitcoin prices were trading at $20,809 according to CoinDesk data, up nearly 7.3% on the session, with gains for the digital asset supported by a flood of institutional investor attention on cryptos like bitcoin and other virtual currencies.

The renewed run-up for bitcoin, which was created in 2009, also comes as central banks weigh up the case for digital currencies while payment platforms move to include them.

Back in October, PayPal Holdings said it would allow customers to buy cryptocurrency through their accounts and use cryptocurrency for merchant payments, which lent some legitimacy to the nascent asset.

Fanatics of the digital assets say that the rally for bitcoin and its ilk differs this time from the fervour of 2017 and could signal a much more sustained climb for the cryptos.

The 17 December rally for bitcoin comes as the Federal Reserve is set to provide a fresh update on its monetary policy plans amid the global viral epidemic that has slammed economies worldwide and forced governments to spend outsize funds to limit the damage.

“There is clearly a view in the community that all of this central bank easing provides a bullish case for bitcoin and with the crypto closing in on new record highs and, importantly, $20,000, this could well be the point when it explodes higher into uncharted territory,” wrote Craig Erlam, senior market analyst, in a note on 17 December.

Bitcoins are trading well above the intraday peak at $19,783,21 put in back in 2017.

So far this year in 2020, bitcoins are up over 180%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average by comparison, is up 5.8% so far this year, the S&P 500 index has gained 14.4% over the same period and the Nasdaq Composite Index has advanced over 40% in the year to date.

Gold, considered one of bitcoins biggest traditional asset rivals by some, has climbed 22% thus far this year amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

This article was published by MarketWatch.

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