Bitcoin surged above the $11,000 mark on Monday hitting a more than 15-month high, as a high-profile project from Facebook throws cryptocurrencies back into the spotlight.
The digital coin hit an intraday high of $11,307.69 around 5.30 a.m. HK/SIN Monday, according to Coindesk’s Bitcoin Price Index, which takes into account the price of the cryptocurrency across various exchanges. That’s the highest level since March 5, 2018. Bitcoin had pared some of those gains and was trading at around $10,624.10 at 10.05 a.m. HK/SIN Monday.
Investors appear to be shrugging off some of the memories from the burst of the bitcoin bubble after it hit a record high of over $19,000 in December 2017. The price of the cryptocurrency came crashing down over the course of 2018 and into the start of 2019 where it fell to the low-to-mid $3,000 mark.
But since late February, bitcoin has been marching higher again, as major companies began to announce cryptocurrency-related projects. Fidelity rolled out a cryptocurrency custody and trade execution operation in March. But it was perhaps news of Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency that helped boost bitcoin.
“The price surge is due to two major factors, one is an increasing consensus among the investment community that bitcoin is a legitimate store of value for the digital age, and two Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency launch has forced every CEO to take crypto seriously,” Jehan Chu, co-founder of Kenetic Capital, an investor in blockchain start-ups told CNBC.
Blockchain is the underlying technology behind bitcoin. Facebook’s project has however faced many questions from politicians and central bankers who are keeping a close eye on its development.
Bitcoin is now up more than 170% this year. The rise of bitcoin has also helped lift the price of other digital coins like ethereum which has more than doubled this year.