HONG KONG: Bitcoin breached US$10,000 for the first time in about 15 months, recouping more than half of the parabolic increase that introduced mainstream investors to the digital asset before the bursting of the cryptocurrency bubble.
“The bounce back of Bitcoin has been fairly extraordinary,” said George McDonaugh, chief executive and co-founder of London-based blockchain and cryptocurrency investment firm KR1 Plc. “Money didn’t leave the asset behind, it just sat on the sidelines waiting to get back in.”
The largest cryptocurrency rose by about 5% to around US$10,500, according to prices compiled by Bitstamp available on the Bloomberg terminal. Bitcoin reached an all-time high of US$19,511 in December 2017, capping a 1,400% surge that year, only to be followed by a 74% collapse in 2018.
The coin reached a near-term low of about US$3,100 in December and languished around the US$3,300 to US$4,100 range for several months, before getting a bid at the beginning of April. It hasn’t looked back from there.
In contrast with last year, there are now signs of renewed mainstream interest in cryptocurrencies and the underlying blockchain technology, most prominently Facebook Inc’s Libra. The social-media giant is working with a broad group of partners from Visa Inc to Uber Technologies Inc to develop the system, which has already attracted attention and criticism from politicians raising privacy and security concerns.