Bitcoin surges to all-time high above $5,000
Bitcoin has again hit a new record-high valuation, tipping $5,200 (£3,900) despite experts continuing to express scepticism about the cryptocurrency’s popularity.
Last month the chairman and chief executive of JPMorgan Chase, Jamie Dimon, described Bitcoin as a “fraud” and told his company’s investors it was “worse than tulip bulbs”.
However, Jeroen Blokland, an investor at Robeco, noted on Twitter than $1,000 invested in the digital cash back on 22 July 2010 would now be worth $100m.
Bitcoin has increased 750% this calendar year, but has continued to display the extraordinary volatility which has made many investors shy away.
The value of the cryptocurrency has recovered since September when a crackdown in China, prompted by fears of fraud connected to similar technologies, caused it to crash below $3,000.
Naeem Aslam, chief analyst at Think Markets, believes Bitcoin could continue to surge if large e-commerce players like Amazon begin to accept it.
Analysts have fuelled rumours that Amazon could announce a move to accept Bitcoin during its next investors’ call, due this month.
Mr Aslam believes it could hit $7,000 by the end of the year, and suggested acceptance by outfits such as Amazon, eBay and China’s Alibaba may help it get there.
The cryptocurrency is also being chased by North Korean hackers due to its suitability for dodging sanctions, as payments are processed in a distributed manner rather than through a central authority.