Bitcoin tops US$12,000 for first time since January 2018

A collection of Bitcoins stand in this arranged photograph in Danbury, UK on Dec. 10, 2015. (Bloomberg pic)

SINGAPORE: Bitcoin continued its stellar rally Wednesday, surpassing the US$12,000 level for the first time in almost a year and a half.

The largest cryptocurrency surged about 8%, trading at US$12,273.08 as of 1.41pm in Tokyo. It has more than tripled this year, with the advance accelerating this month.

Cryptocurrencies have been gaining acceptance and attracting more interest from mainstream institutions, with JPMorgan Chase & Co seeing client interest in a coin for bond transactions and Facebook Inc making plans for a cryptocurrency called Libra, among other forays into the space.

The last time Bitcoin climbed above US$12,000 was in December 2017.

It rose much higher, eventually reaching as high as US$19,511 later in the month, but the surge was followed by a precipitous fall that saw it drop below US$6,000 by February.

All in all, in December 2017 and January 2018, Bitcoin spent about six weeks above US$12,000.