Bitcoin hit a new high on last Friday, a day after soaring past the price of an ounce of gold for the first time in its short but turbulent history.
One unit of the virtual currency was trading above $1,292.71 at 7:30 am in New York, compared with $1,226.89 for an ounce of gold.
The latest surge in bitcoin’s value has been attributed to tighter currency restrictions in countries such as China, India and Venezuela, as well as speculation about prospects under the Trump administration.
Bitcoin still has a lot to prove, John Butler, head of wealth services for GoldMoney, said in an interview with Bloomberg.
“We’re a long way from bitcoin establishing its properties as anything that could be considered to be a reasonably stable store of value,” Butler said. “The fact that it’s passing through gold is just arbitrary.”
China’s three biggest Bitcoin exchanges suspended withdrawals last month after pressure from the People’s Bank of China, which was concerned people were using bitcoin to move money out of the country, sidestepping official efforts to shore up the yuan.
Investors may also be betting on a more relaxed regulatory environment under US President Donald Trump. The US Securities and Exchange Commission is expected to rule on a proposal for an exchange-traded fund based on the digital currency by March 11.
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