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Bitcoin surges above $14,000 to new high

Published: December 07, 2017 12:46:13 | Updated: December 08, 2017 14:33:22


Reuters file photo used for representation.

Bitcoin crossed $14,000 on Thursday, surging $2,000 in less than 24 hours.

The cryptocurrency began the year below $1,000 but continues its sharp rise despite warnings of a dangerous bubble, the BBC reports.

Bitcoin hit the latest milestone during early trading in Asia, according to the website Coindesk.com.

The new record high comes just days before the launch of bitcoin futures on two exchanges, including the world's largest futures exchange, CME.

Spread betting firm CMC Markets said the rise had all the symptoms of a bubble market, warning "there is no way to know when the bubble will burst".

What is Bitcoin?

There are two key traits of Bitcoin: it is digital and it is seen as an alternative currency.

Unlike the notes or coins in your pocket, it largely exists online.

Secondly, Bitcoin is not printed by governments or traditional banks.

A small but growing number of businesses, including Expedia and Microsoft, accept bitcoins - which work like virtual tokens.

However, the vast majority of users now buy and sell them as a financial investment.

The digital currency's rapid ascent from around $1,000 at the start of the year has put it in the spotlight.

Critics have said Bitcoin is going through a bubble similar to the dotcom boom, whereas others say it is rising in price because it is crossing into the financial mainstream.

Financial regulators have taken a range of views on the status of digital currencies and their risks.

 

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