Virtual currency Bitcoin surged more than 10 per cent to $18,450 on Wednesday, extending a bull run that began last month after US-based online payments company PayPal allowed its customers to use the cryptocurrency on its network. Bitcoin was last seen quoting at $17,979.0, up $1233.9 – or 7.37 per cent – compared to its previous close of $16,745.1. Though highly volatile and still not recorgnised as legal by many central banks, Bitcoin has caught the attention of many investors for its exponential returns – having touched the $1,000 mark for the first time in 2013.
On Wednesday, Bitcoin swung in a more than $1,800 range of $16,633-18,450, a day after surging to its highest since December 2017, as the cryptocurrency’s perceived quality as a hedge against inflation and expectations of mainstream acceptance lured institutional and retail demand.
Bitcoin’s 2020 rally has drawn momentum from strong appetite for riskier assets following unprecedented government and central bank stimulus measures to combat impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and its reputation for being inflation-proof.
Bitcoin is up 150 per cent against the US dollar so far this year, having bounced back 360 per cent from its March lows due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Major central banks around the globe are exploring whether to allow the issuance of digital currencies.
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