Bitcoin peaks to the highest this year at US$8,847, up 136% year-to-date

Bitcoin’s gain pulled other cryptos higher, with Ethereum and Bitcoin Cash up by 7.19% and 8.89%, at US$266.94 and US$436.59, respectively.

Bitcoin, the world’s top cryptocurrency based on market capitalization value which has seen its prices on a creeping rise since April, reached its highest year-to-date price level at US$8,847 on Monday.

Bitcoin surged as much as 10% on Monday morning at around 9.30am Singapore time from Friday’s prices, more than doubling its US$4,000-price levels in March this year.

Year-to-date, the crypto has risen by 136%, as it traded at US$3,746.71 on January 1, 2019.

At around 1.30 pm on Monday, Bitcoin was trading at US$8,767.62, based on IG data. Bitcoin’s gain pulled other cryptos higher, with Ethereum and Bitcoin Cash up by 7.19% and 8.89%, at US$266.94 and US$436.59, respectively, CoinMarketCap data showed.

End of crypto winter?

Since April this year, crypto enthusiasts have been calling the resurgence of Bitcoin the end of the “Crypto Winter”.

The crypto experienced a rough “winter” late last year, when it fell to lows of US$3,236.85 on December 15, 2018, after dwelling on months of bear territory, data from CoinMarketCap showed. The crypto had slid like a falling knife after it hit an all-time-high of US$19,783.06 on December 17, 2017.

As the coin is mainly sentiment-driven, regulatory opinion from some central banks on cryptocurrencies not being adoptive for mainstream use in the near term was also a reason to the slide seen last year. Trade uncertainty between the United States (US) and China, which took a turn for the worse late last year, also led investors to flee the riskier asset for safe havens.

Last year, the hacking of crypto-exchanges, including the notorious theft of US$530 million worth of cryptos stolen from Japanese exchange Coincheck also led to a great damage to the reputation of cryptocurrencies.

But now analysts are betting on crypto’s revival as more institutions are starting to build their own cryptocurrencies and/or are dabbling with blockchain technology.

Rising institutional support for crypto and blockchain

Facebook on Friday said it is planning to launch its own cryptocurrency in early 2020, said the BBC which first reported the news. Called ‘GlobalCoin’, it will function as a digital payments system with the aim to disrupt financial institutions as it looks to help people without a bank account send and receive money.

The tech firm said that it is currently in talks with money transfer firms including Western Union and will work with banks and brokers on the project.

In February, JP Morgan was reported to have created the first US bank-backed cryptocurrency to help settle payments between clients in its wholesale payments business.

JP Morgan said it sees the potential in using digital coins in transactions which helps to reduce risks and enable immediate transfers. The bank is known to be a supporter of blockchain technology.


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