In Brief

Bitcoin price soars past $20,000 to all-time high

The volatile cryptocurrency has gained more than 170% this year

The price of bitcoin has hit a record high after breaking the $20,000 (£14,725) mark on Wednesday.

Amid “increased institutional and corporate interest”, the volatile cryptocurrency - also known as BTC - has gained more than 170% this year, “buoyed by demand from larger investors attracted to its potential for quick gains”, Reuters reports. 

Scott Freeman, co-founder and partner at trading firm JST Capital, said: “Many of our clients have been expecting bitcoin to surpass its all-time high of $20,000 given the recent news from major institutional players like SGX and MassMutual openly endorsing bitcoin. 

“While this is a major milestone for this nascent asset class, as retail, institutional, and blue-chip investors alike allocate more capital to this space, it would not be surprising to see other coins follow in BTC’s footsteps and for this upward trajectory to be sustained into 2021.”

Smaller coins ethereum and XRP gained 5.4% and 8.1% respectively yesterday. Meanwhile, bitcoin’s value has continued to increase, with one coin worth $22,730 as of Thursday morning.

Bitcoin’s rise has coincided with a recent drop in gold price, a traditional “safe haven in times of volatility”, says Sky News.

“But it has been a bumpy ride for investors, with the cryptocurrency passing $19,000 in November before dropping sharply,” the broadcaster adds.

Following last month’s short-lived surge, crypto investor Anthony Pompliano predicted that bitcoin, the most valuable and popular digital currency, could climb to $100,000 by the end of 2021, as Business Insider reported.

However, other analysts have dismissed such predictions as “outlandish”, says Sky News. 

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