BITCOIN skyrocketed in value to a two-week high today, surging almost $400 in just one hour’s of trading.
The world’s leading cryptocurrency increased from $6,466.50 at midnight to $6,858.61 at 1am GMT, according to figures from bitcoin and digital currency website CoinDesk.
This marked the first time Bitcoin had risen above $6,800 since August 7, but the reason for the latest significant jump in its value was not immediately clear.
The cryptocurrency did however soften slightly to $6,675.61 by 11.20am GMT, but it was still up three percent over the previous 24 hours.
Despite this, Bitcoin is still down a massive 66 percent from a record price of almost $20,000 set in December 2017.
It followed several struggles for the cryptocurrency market over recent weeks, with Bitcoin and its second and third-largest counterparts, ether and XRP, continuing to slip into the red.
At the time, analysts attributed these sharp falls to an announcement from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to postpone a decision on a proposed bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF), which would allow a raft of new capital to flood into Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies overall.
Along with Bitcoin, ether was up 1.5 percent at a price of $286.20 at 11.20am GMT, while XRP, which is associated with the blockchain firm Ripple, increased two percent at a price of 34 cents, according to CoinDesk.
On Tuesday, Bitcoin’s struggles continued as it again slipped into the red, hanging at around $6,400 per coin.
Earlier this week, new figures revealed the value of all cryptocurrency tokens in circulation have plummeted by £470 billion since their peak at the start of the year.
Investors ploughed money into the digital currencies after their price surged at the end of 2017, driven largely by Bitcoin, which received extensive media coverage.
But the cryptocurrency bubble has burst and their value has slumped by 75 percent, with the heavy losses leaving some investors in financial ruin, according to data from coinmarketcap.com.
On Monday, Bitcoin was trading at $6,490 – still a huge gain on its January 2017 value of $1,000 – but significantly less than many investors paid.
Technology entrepreneur-turned Bitcoin evangelist and speaker Andreas Antonopoulos, warned that a potential bitcoin ETF could be bad news for the burgeoning industry.
Andreas Antonopoulos (Wikimedia Commons)
The latest worrying sign over the future of bitcoin came after Coinbase’s Brian Armstrong warned that mainstream adoption of Bitcoin as a means of exchange could take longer than previously thought.
The SEC has postponed a decision over whether to approve a Bitcoin ETF until September at the earliest.
Despite this, many experts in the field expect it to eventually arrive.