Published On: Mon, Aug 14th, 2017

Bitcoin price latest: Bitcoin soars to record high above $4000

The booming cryptocurrency made headlines a week ago for breaking the $3,000 barrier, up from under $1,000 on January 1 2017. 

Justin Short, CEO and founder of trading platform NOUS, tweeted: “BTC $4k. It may be volatile but it’s not worthless.” 

Today’s high was £3,341.67 ($4,338.16), according to the latest data from CoinDesk. 

The price of has been boosted by heavy demand in Japan where the currency was adopted as legal tender in April.

Bitcoin trade in Japanese yen accounted for 42 per cent of international trade on Sunday, according to CryptoCompare. 

Trading in the Far East is becoming more important as time goes by, said Brian Kelly, head of BKCM, which runs a digital asset strategy. 

“Bitcoin is benefitting from geopolitical tensions – trading in Japan and Korea has increased significantly over the last few months,” he told CNBC.

Bitcoin’s market cap is now valued at more than $69billion (£53billion), up by more than $10billion (£7.7billion) from last week alone.

If the token continues to go up in value, its market cap could overtake Paypal in a move dubbed as ‘the flipping’. Paypal’s market cap currently stands at more than $70 billion (£53 billion).  

The price hike also comes after the introduction of the ‘Segregated Witness’ (SegWit) update which promises to speed up transaction times on the network.

But the last month has been far from a smooth ride for the cryptocurrency, which plummeted below $2,000 in July for the first time since May.

Doubt was also cast over the currency’s future on August 1, when the new bitcoin cash token (BCH) forked off from the main blockchain, splitting the cryptocurrency in two.

Bitcoin’s price fluctuated in the aftermath of the fork and analysts were unsure what the long-term effects would be. 

Philippe Van Damme, a development economist and EU Ambassador to Zimbabwe, fears that the soaring price could be signal a bubble is about to burst.

He tweeted: “More than doubled in few months time: no longer stable means of exchange but speculative bubble – b careful!”

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