In Brief

Bitcoin price: values leap beyond $4,000 mark

Cryptocurrency market moves into ‘bullish zone’ with further gains on the horizon

Bitcoin investors hoping for a recovery in 2019 are in luck as the cryptocurrency’s value has leapt above the $4,000 ($3,140) mark. 

The digital coin suffered a series of major sell-offs in 2018, with prices tumbling from highs of $20,000 (£15,700) per coin in December 2017 to just over $3,700 (£2,900) a year later, according to figures from ranking site CoinMarketCap

While bitcoin values remained stable over the first week of January, prices jumped by roughly 6% to $4,070 (£3,200) in the space of half an hour on Sunday afternoon, the site reveals. As of 9am on Monday UK time, prices were sitting at $4,080. 

It’s believed that a “bitcoin whale”, a term given to investors with a significant share of the cryptocurrency, may be behind Sunday’s price surge, Forbes reports.

The unnamed investor reportedly transferred $10m (£7.85m) worth of bitcoin on the Luxembourg-based cryptocurrency exchange Bitstamp, bumping the virtual coin’s trading volume over $5bn (£3.92bn), the news site says. 

Speaking to Forbes, Mati Greenspan, senior market analyst at cryptocurrency exchange eToro, said that a price surge is “not entirely uncommon for bitcoin” and could be the hallmark of “a single large order on an exchange or even by a lack of liquidity in the market.

“What’s interesting about this move is that it did bring us above the $4,000 level and so far is holding onto the gains”, he added. 

Rival cryptocurrencies have also seen rising values since the start of 2019, indicating that they are moving into a “bullish zone” and signalling that further gains may be on the horizon, says virtual currency site NewsBTC.

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