Bitcoin sets new record, price nearly quadruples in 2020

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Bitcoin on Wednesday jumped to a record $28,599.99, after the digital currency almost quadrupled in value this year amid heightened interest from bigger investors.

The world’s most popular cryptocurrency was last up 2.3% at $28,012. It has surged by nearly half since breaking $20,000 for the first time on Dec. 16.

Bitcoin has increasingly seen demand from larger U.S. investors in particular, attracted by its perceived inflation-hedging qualities and potential for quick gains, as well as expectations it would become a mainstream payments method.

Read more: Bitcoin crosses US$20K threshold for the first time

Investors said limited supply of bitcoin – produced by so-called “mining” computers that validate blocks of transactions by competing to solve mathematical puzzles – has helped power upward moves over recent days.

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Many recent entrants to the market are holding onto positions, they said.

“The supply side to the bitcoin market will remain tight,” said Jacob Skaaning of crypto hedge fund ARK36.

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The latest gains took bitcoin’s market capitalisation past $518 billion, according to industry website CoinMarketCap.

Other major cryptocurrencies, which tend to move in tandem with bitcoin, were flat. Ethereum, the second biggest, was down 0.4%, on track for a 2020 gain of around 465%.

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