Jan 2, 2017
Bitcoin jumps above $1,000 for first time in three years
currency bitcoin kicked off the new year by jumping above $1,000 for the
first time in three years late on Sunday, having outperformed all
central-bank-issued currencies with a 125 percent climb in 2016.
- a web-based "cryptocurrency" that has no central authority, relying
instead on thousands of computers across the world that validate
transactions and add new bitcoins to the system - jumped 2.5 percent to
$1,022 on the Europe-based Bitstamp exchange, its highest since December
2013. Though the digital
currency has historically been highly volatile - a tenfold increase in
its value in two months in late 2013 took it to above $1,100, before a
hack on the Tokyo-based Mt. Gox exchange saw it plunge to under $400 in
the following weeks - it has in the past two years been more stable.
Its biggest daily moves in 2016 were around 10 percent, still very volatile compared with fiat currencies, but markedly lower than the trading of 2013, which saw daily price swings of as much as 40 percent.
Bitcoin may have been boosted in the past year by increased demand in China on the back of a 7 percent annual fall in the value of the yuan in 2016, the Chinese currency's weakest showing in over 20 years. Data shows most bitcoin trading is done in China.
Bitcoin is used to move money across the globe quickly and anonymously and does not fall under the purview of any authority, making it attractive to those wanting to get around capital controls, such as China's.
By Jemima Kelly