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Bitcoin price surges by a third as cryptocurrency breaks above $9,000

Bitcoin's recent price rise has given a big boost to other cryptocurrencies, with some experiencing gains of more than 20 per cent over the last 24 hours

Anthony Cuthbertson
Tuesday 24 April 2018 09:36 BST
What is Bitcoin and why is its price so high?

The price of bitcoin has returned above $9,000 for the first time since March, having risen by more than a third in value over the last two weeks.

The world’s most valuable cryptocurrency now has a market cap of more than $150 billion, though this is still down considerably from its peak valuation of around $320 billion in late 2017.

Other major cryptocurrencies have been boosted by bitcoin’s recent resurgence, including ethereum, ripple and litecoin.

The most significant gains were experienced by the bitcoin spin-off bitcoin cash, which has almost doubled in value in the last week from $750 to $1,500.

The market-wide gains follow several months of steadily decreasing prices, which some analysts believe represent the bitcoin bubble “bursting.”

Bitcoin experienced the worst ever start to a year in 2018, falling in price by more than $10,000 between January and April.

The crash was attributed to a number of factors, including the tightening of cryptocurrecny regulations in markets like South Korea, and a cooling of interest from investors.

Positive news in the cryptocurrency space in recent weeks led to optimism among some analysts, who predicted the latest price bump.

At the beginning of April, when bitcoin’s price was hovering around $6,500, bitcoin expert Michael Jackson told The Independent that bitcoin’s fortunes were set for a reversal.

“Regulators seem open-minded and are now working to eliminate the risks for consumers,” said Jackson, the former COO of Skype. “So I see no reason why bitcoin shouldn’t fulfil its dream. And if it does then recent price falls will appear trivial.”

Other recent price predictions include Pantera Capital’s prediction that it will reach $20,000 by the end of the year, and Fundstrat’s Thomas Lee’s forecast that bitcoin will rise as high as $25,000 in 2018.

One of the most ambitious predictions comes from renowned investor Tim Draper, who announced earlier this month that a single bitcoin could be worth more than a quarter of a million dollars within the next four years.

“I’m thinking $250,000 a bitcoin by 2022,” Mr Draper told a crowd in California. “Believe it, it’s going to happen. They’re going to think you’re crazy but believe it, it’s happening, it’s going to be awesome.”

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