In Brief

Bitcoin price: why the cryptocurrency’s value continues to soar

Digital coin enters its third month of gains - but will it continue?

Bitcoin investors are celebrating a run of continual gains that saw the cryptocurrency’s value climbing further over the weekend. 

The virtual currency’s price rose from around $4,910 (£3,760) per coin on Friday to $5,250 (£4,020) as of 11am UK time today, according to figures from ranking site CoinMarketCap

Those figures are still well short of the cryptocurrency’s all-time high of around $20,000 (£15,320) in December 2017, but bitcoin has recorded three consecutive months of gains this year, adding $1,500 (£1,150) to its overall value.

Experts say the latest value hikes are down to a number of factors, according to Forbes.

Nicholas Cawley, an analyst at trading analysis firm DailyFX, told the business news site that the recent surge was sparked by a “large buy order” worth a rumoured $100m (£76.6m) for the cryptocurrency. 

The “lack of volatility in bitcoin over the last few weeks” has also kept prices in check, Cawley added.

That analysis was backed by Kirill Bensonoff, a partner at blockchain investment firm Caviar, who told Forbes that the recent multimillion-dollar order was “another sign that institutional players are coming into the market”.

Although bitcoin’s continuing climb comes as welcome news to investors, Bensonoff says it’s unlikely that the cryptocurrency will match its 2017 high within the next 12 months. 

“For bitcoin to hit $20,000 in 2019, we would need a major catalyst,” he said. Such a catalyst might be if the cryptocurrency gained approval from the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for an Exchange-Traded Fund (ETV) - dividing the virtual currency into shares. 

“Without it, we are looking at a $10,000 (£7,665) best-case scenario,” Bensonoff concluded. 

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