|22 May, 2017

Bitcoin prices hit all-time high of above $2,000 mark

Bitcoin is a digital currency that is not tied to a bank or government and allows users to spend money anonymously

A Bitcoin (virtual currency) paper wallet with QR codes and a coin are seen in an illustration picture taken at La Maison du Bitcoin in Paris, France, May 27, 2015.

A Bitcoin (virtual currency) paper wallet with QR codes and a coin are seen in an illustration picture taken at La Maison du Bitcoin in Paris, France, May 27, 2015.

REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

Monday, May 22, 2017

Dubai: Bitcoin prices jumped more than 6 per cent to hit an all-time high on Monday as traders sought refuge in the cyrpto-currency amid a political chaos.

Bitcoin prices jumped to as high as $2,185.89 (Dh8,029) on Monday, before trading 6.02 per cent higher at $2,179.43 at 4.42pm UAE time, according to CoinDesk data. The Bitcoin had breached the keenly-watched $2,000 mark over the weekend.

Bitcoin is a digital currency that is not tied to a bank or government and allows users to spend money anonymously.

“We’re seeing massive interest across all crypto-currencies, the entire blockchain space,” Andreas M. Antonopoulos, bitcoin and information security expert told Gulf News.

He said the industry is becoming more and more mainstream and attracting interest from a broad range of industries.

BK Capital Management, which has a digital asset fund, said the fear of missing out and significant price momentum have combined to create a unique investment environment.

“Bitcoin and ethereum both climbed out from lows that they had reached because of short-term problems and growing pains. As they surged, people start fearing they will miss out on the momentum. This draws more investors until it is no longer sustainable,” Antonopoulos said.

Panic selling:

After having gained more than five times since 2016, Bitcoin prices may witness profit-taking.

“I expect the cycle will end soon, leading to a consolidation, some profit taking and some panic selling,” Antonopoulos said.

Gains during the period came in after Japan allowed retailers to start accepting bitcoin as a legal currency. That has boosted trading in yen, which now accounts for over 40 percent of all Bitcoin trade.

Overall, Antonopoulos has a positive outlook on the cyrptocurrency.

“I think this is truly revolutionary and disruptive technology. On the way there, however, I expect a lot of ups and downs. It takes a very long term view to be comfortable in this space,” he added. Bitcoin has rallied over 117 per cent year to-date.

By Siddesh Suresh ?Mayenkar Senior Reporter

Gulf News 2017. All rights reserved.

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