Bitcoin digital currency extended its record high on Saturday, as it started the year by breaking the $ 30,000 mark for the first time, with more traders and investors betting that it is on its way to becoming the dominant payment method.
The price of the world’s most famous cryptocurrency traded at $ 32,460 early on Saturday, just hours after it crossed the $ 30,000 barrier.
The performance comes after a year in which Bitcoin rose more than 300 percent in 2020, with gains of close to 50 percent in December alone.
The currency rose on November 30, 2020, to its highest level in nearly three years at 19,793 dollars, and by the end of December 31, 2020, the cryptocurrency rose by about an additional 10,000 dollars.
Bitcoin’s market value also jumped to around $ 610 billion, overtaking many of the world’s most well-known companies.
The currency has been around for a decade or so, and in 2020 has seen demand growth from major US investors attracted by its inflation-hedging qualities and potential for quick gains, as well as expectations that it will become the mainstream payment method.
Investors said the limited supply of Bitcoin – produced by so-called mining computers that validate transaction blocks by competing to solve mathematical puzzles – has helped fuel the upward moves in recent days.
Some also saw it as a safe haven during the Coronavirus pandemic, similar to gold.
It is traded on several exchanges, the largest of which is Coinbase, which itself is preparing to go public to become the first such platform to be listed on Wall Street.
There are many competing cryptocurrencies that use blockchain or electronic ledger technology, including Ethereum, the second digital currency in the world by size, which rose by 465 percent in 2020 and rose by 5.3 percent on Saturday.
The US Federal Reserve has helped the rise of Bitcoin by printing money, along with other central banks, in an effort to stave off the worst economic effects of the epidemic.
US President Donald Trump has been pressing Congress to issue greater stimulus controls, and these measures are seen by many as potential catalysts for inflation and bad for the US dollar, both of which could be positive for Bitcoin.