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Bitcoin breaches $23,000 for first time, surges 250% in a year

Chitranjan Kumar     December 17, 2020

Bitcoin surpassed $23,000 for the first time on Thursday, just a day after breaching the $20,000 milestone, amid increased appetite for riskier assets. The cryptocurrency saw surge in demand from larger investors, such as companies and businesses, as it has become an attractive investment alternative owing to higher returns.  

Bitcoin surged to new record highs of $23,770 earlier on Thursday, before quickly falling back by over $1,500 to $22,185, according to the CoinDesk 20. At the time of reporting, the digital currency was holding early gains and was at $22,560, up 14.37 per cent on a 24-hour basis.

Renewed interest in Bitcoin caused the price to surge nearly 26 per cent this week to touch an all-time high of $23,770. The world's largest cryptocurrency has gained 15 per cent in the last 24 hours and 28 per cent over last one month. In the last one year, Bitcoin has rallied 250 per cent from $6,584 on December 18, 2019 to $23,441.60 now.

Also Read: Bitcoin crosses $20,000-mark for first time

Bitcoin's strong rally in the recent past was fuelled by massive demand from globally renowned investors and institutions, who put their weight behind this highly volatile digital currency amid unprecedented economic and geopolitical uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Launched in 2009, the price of one Bitcoin remained in the neighbourhood of a few dollars for its first few years, before surging to $19,783 in late-2017 and further to $23,000 levels in 2020.

Also Read: Bitcoin is beating gold! JP Morgan believes the trend is here to stay

Bitcoin is a digital currency that allows people to buy goods and services and exchange money without involving banks, credit card issuers or other third parties. It was introduced in 2008 by an unidentified group of programmers as a cryptocurrency as well as an electronic payment system. It is reportedly the first decentralised digital currency where peer-to-peer transactions take place without any intermediary.

Earlier in October this year, PayPal announced that it would allow cryptocurrency in its wallets, which was followed by several other companies. A global demand for Bitcoin is likely to provide important directions for India too, where it is yet to be regulated. In March 2020, things took a positive turn, and Bitcoin was declared completely legal in India after the Supreme Court in a ruling reversed the Reserve Bank of India (RBI's) circular that restricted banks and financial institutions from providing services related to cryptocurrencies. However, the government is planning to bring a new law to formally end cryptocurrency trading in India.

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