Bitcoin digital currency surges above $30,000 for the first time, as high as $33,099 on Saturday

The price of the world’s most popular cryptocurrency traded as high as $33,099 on Saturday

Digital currency bitcoin continued its record-breaking rally on Saturday, starting the year by surging above $30,000 for the first time, with more traders and investors betting that it is on the way to becoming a mainstream payment method. The price of the world’s most popular cryptocurrency traded as high as $33,099 on Saturday, with almost all other markets closed for the first weekend of 2021.

It was last up about 12 percent to $32,883. Bitcoin is up more than 300 percent in 2020, and with the latest spike, it’s up more than 50 percent since it surpassed $20,000 just two weeks ago.

The blockchain currency has only been around for about a decade, and in 2020 it saw increasing demand from larger US investors, drawn by its perceived inflation-hedging qualities and potential for quick profits, as well as expectations that it would become a would become mainstream payment method. Investors said the limited supply of bitcoin — produced by so-called “mining” computers that validate blocks of transactions by competing to solve math puzzles — has helped fuel bullish moves in recent days. Some also saw it as a safe haven during the COVID -19 pandemic, similar to gold.

“It is highly likely that the asset will eventually surpass $100,000 per coin,” Sergey Nazarov, co-founder of Chainlink, a global blockchain project, wrote in an email on Saturday.

“People have steadily lost faith in their government currencies for years, and monetary policy resulting from the economic impact of the coronavirus has only accelerated that decline.” It is traded on numerous exchanges, the largest of which is Coinbase, which is itself preparing itself to go public and become the first such platform to be listed on Wall Street. Several competing cryptocurrencies use similar blockchain or electronic ledger technology.

Ethereum, the second largest, gained 465 percent in 2020 and was up almost 7 percent on Saturday.

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