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Bitcoin breaches an all-time high of $20,000

Yasmin Ahmed     December 17, 2020

The value of bitcoin rose over 6 per cent to $20, 676 on Wednesday, an all-time high recorded in three years. The number one cryptocurrency surpassed its previous recorded peak of $19,864.15 recorded earlier this month. The surge also caused an outage in Coinbase, a major US cryptocurrency exchange. Its retail and professional focused platforms were hit by connection problems.

The rally in bitcoin comes after a 2017 spike in the digital currency when it rose by more than 900 per cent to come close to $20,000 by mid-December. The price of bitcoin has surged by more than 400 per cent this year from a low point of around $3,600 in March 2020, according to CoinBase.

"When this (rally to near $20,000) happened in 2017, there was a real lack of products for the new converts to experience, whereas today there are endless uses, protocols, services across farming, lending, standard trading, etc," Soravis Srinawakoon, CEO and co-founder of cross-chain data oracle Band Protocol told CoinDesk. "Therefore, we'd expect to see the new adopters hang around this time."

Bitcoin's prior peak in 2017 reached after frenzied buying by retail investors from Japan to the United States, saw the cryptocurrency gain over 250 percent in just 35 days before losing 70 percent of its value in less than two months after its December 2017 high.

Crypto experts expect bitcoins to cross the 1 trillion market cap soon. According to DW, there is an endorsement from financial institutions such as Fidelity Investments and JP Morgan and public companies such as mobile payments firm Square, which has stored some of its cash in the form of Bitcoin. Guggenheim Partners, for instance, recently said it might invest up to 10 per cent of its $5.3-billion Macro Opportunities Fund in a bitcoin trust.

Reports have also highlighted that Bitcoin remains unregulated. This trait, according to experts, increases its appeal among its fans but at the same time drives others away. Reports further highlight the volatile nature of the asset, which remains concentrated in very few hands, adding to its volatility. Bitcoin has posted an average daily move of 2.7 per cent this year, according to Bloomberg. By comparison, the price of gold saw swings of 0.9 per cent.

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