Bitcoin rises to three-year peak, all-time high in sight
LONDON: Bitcoin rose to a three-year high of $18,600 on Friday, up 4.5% on the day and close to its all-time high of just under $20,000.
The cryptocurrency has gained over 16% so far this week – its biggest weekly gain since June 2019 – and is up over 160% this year.
Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency created in January 2009 following the housing market crash. It follows the ideas set out in a whitepaper by the mysterious and pseudonymous Satoshi Nakamoto. The identity of the person or persons who created the technology is still a mystery.
Bitcoin offers the promise of lower transaction fees than traditional online payment mechanisms and is operated by a decentralized authority, unlike government-issued currencies.
There are no physical bitcoins, only balances kept on a public ledger that everyone has transparent access to, that – along with all Bitcoin transactions – is verified by a massive amount of computing power. Bitcoins are not issued or backed by any banks or governments, nor are individual bitcoins valuable as a commodity.
Despite it not being legal tender, Bitcoin charts high on popularity, and has triggered the launch of hundreds of other virtual currencies