Is bitcoin back? Cryptocurrency surges after breaching US$9,000

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 15 February, 2018, 3:27am
UPDATED : Thursday, 15 February, 2018, 5:08am

Bitcoin surged as much as 8.7 per cent after surpassing US$9,000 for the first time since February 2, the day that financial markets worldwide slumped amid concern over rising interesting rates and a return in volatility.

The cryptocurrency had reached US$9,306 as of 5pm New York time - a recovery from the recent low of US$5,922 that has emboldened long-term advocates.

“The climb back to [the] US$9,000 range was inevitable,” said Darren Franceschini, chief executive with Blockchain Technologies Consulting.

“It seems people in this industry don’t watch what happens in crypto every few months and every year since 2015. Now, we’re waiting for bitcoin’s next all-time high.”

The world’s largest cryptocurrency had previously tumbled 70 per cent from an all-time high of almost US$20,000 set in mid-December on concern that authorities from Asia to the US were seeking greater oversight. 

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Bitcoin isn’t alone in rallying, with smaller rivals Ripple and Ethereum gaining at least 7.6 per cent, respectively. 

Litecoin jumped as much as 38 per cent, aided in part on speculation that programmers may split off from the coin’s blockchain in what’s known as a fork.