The price of bitcoin has suddenly shot up by hundreds of dollars, bucking months of market stability.
Bitcoin rose from $4,150 (£3,182) to $4,849 in less than an hour on Tuesday morning, as it reached its highest value of 2019.
It comes after a period of remarkable stability for the cryptocurrency, which has seen is hover around the $4,000 mark since the beginning of the year.
Despite the most recent gains, bitcoin is still trading a long way from its peak of close to $20,000 that it hit at the end of 2017.
The mysterious movement helped boost other major cryptocurrencies, with ethereum, ripple and litecoin all experiencing gains of around 10 per cent.
Cryptocurrency markets are notoriously volatile and it is difficult to pinpoint price swings to a specific incident.
Some market analysts suggest such a jump could help kick start more gains for bitcoin in the year leading up to its next ‘halvening’ – an event taking place every four years where the rewards for mining the digital currency are reduced by 50 per cent.
“Although there are no clear cut reasons for the sudden movement, it is reasonable to suggest that bitcoin has hit its bottom as we are almost 400 days away from the next halvening,” Danny Scott, chief executive of Isle of Man cryptocurrency exchange CoinCorner, told The Independent.
“This is price behaviour we have seen before previous halvenings and is something we believe to be an emerging pattern for bitcoin.”
Breaking above the $4,200 price is also seen as significant by some cryptocurrency experts, who believe it could precede a positive price trend for bitcoin.
Earlier this week, bitcoin analyst Simon Peters, who works for the online trading platform eToro, said that investors were “eagerly awaiting” to see if it broke above this price point.
“Bitcoin has failed to break this ceiling so far in 2019, and therefore this price movement would be significant,” he said.
“However, investors should hold their horses, as only once we’ve seen a break and, importantly, the price stays above $4,200, can people perhaps start to turn bullish for the long-term.”
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