NEW YORK/LONDON (Reuters) – when the Bitcoin jumped to an 18-month high on Wednesday, as investors looked for safety in alternative investments, in the midst of geo-political tensions, and shouting for joy over the prospects of Facebook Inc’s Scale token and was able to push cryptocurrencies into the mainstream.
The world’s largest cryptocurrency has risen sharply in value since the beginning of April, and on Wednesday it hit a high of $13,666.02 on the Bitstamp exchange, the highest level since January of 2018. So far this year, bitcoin has increased more than 260%, but remains below its all-time high of nearly $ 20,000 hit in December 2017.
Bitcoin last traded at 14.7% to $13,475.
Investors flock back into the digital currency, after all in 2018. Bitcoin has risen for eight consecutive days in a row. And now, Facebook has said that it would have its own cryptocurrency, the Scale coin is at the end of June, by the year 2020.
Analysts say that Facebook’s announcement this month, has revived the interest in digital currencies, as investors in search of safety have also increased, to the bitcoin is its price.
“Cryptocurrency traders have been given new life through Facebook, for the launch of their digital currency, and the momentum seems to be stirring up a fresh, new investors,” said Edward Moya, chief market analyst at online FX broker OANDA in New York.
“Bitcoin skeptics have to be careful in trying to stop this surge, and you can look at the next key resistance level is $15,000,” he added.
With the major central banks to keep interest rates at near all-time lows, investors are on the look out for new ways to diversify their portfolios, including due to cryptocurrenies, analysts said.
Bitcoin CME futures volumes have increased in the past few days as investors are looking for ways to get their hands on the coin, through the derivatives market.
Traders who have access to both the spot and futures markets are for the purchase of the site and the sale of futures contracts, arbitrage, the two prices, said Michael Moro, ceo of Genesis-Global’s Trading, which provides an over-the-counter, a digital-currency trading for the institutional investor.
The cryptocurrency has rocketed by 150% since the beginning of May, along with big increases in other, smaller, digital currencies such as Ethereum’s ether, and the Ripple, the XRP.
“It should be noted that this is a very different market in 2017,” said Moro.
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“In 2017, saw a tremendous amount of ICOs (initial coin offerings), all of which was very good value for money. By 2019, it is less of a distraction. It is also a space, as in the CME bitcoin futures product will not be available until December of 2017.”
ICOs will refer to a fund-raising scheme, which bypasses the banks and venture capital firms and start-ups to create their own tokens and put them up for sale to the general public.
(For a graphic on Bitcoin hits highest point in nearly 18 months, ” then tmsnrt.rs/2FyOjMa)
Reporting Olga Cotaga in London and Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss in New York; Editing by Larry King and Matthew Lewis)