The Bitcoin price hit a new all-time high Friday, breaking $6,000 for the first time on all the major cryptocurrency exchanges.
As of 4 p.m. Friday, Bitcoin was up about 7% over a 24-hour period, trading at as much as $6,060. At that level, Bitcoin’s total market value is now more than $100 billion, easily exceeding the market cap of Goldman Sachs (gs).
The surge comes just a week after Bitcoin reached a record price for the first time in more than a month, surpassing $5,800 after rising as much as $1,000 in less than 48 hours. Until then, Bitcoin had traded well below its previous high of $5,000, which it briefly touched in early September before retreating 20% over the next few days.
Bitcoin initially breached the $6,000 threshold Friday morning at only one exchange, Hong Kong-based Bitfinex, where investors can buy and sell cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. After remaining just a few dollars shy of the mark at other digital currency exchanges such as Coinbase, which is headquartered in San Francisco, Bitcoin officially crossed the milestone on all trading venues just as U.S. stock markets closed Friday.
The bounce comes just two days after a Russian economic official derided Bitcoin as “worse than casinos,” prompting its price to drop as low as $5,174 on Wednesday. Since then, Bitcoin’s price has risen 16%. Over the past 10 days, it has gained more than 24%.
The cryptocurrency’s rally comes despite other disparaging comments by influential figures including former Federal Reserve chair Ben Bernanke (who suggested this week that Bitcoin would fail) as well as criticism by J.P. Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon.
Still, Bitcoin bulls are setting their sights on the potential release of a Bitcoin exchange traded fund, a product that would trade on the regular stock market, opening up the digital asset to a broader array of investors. One attempt to launch a Bitcoin ETF was rejected by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission earlier this year, but plans for others are in the works. A representative for Digital Currency Group, the investment firm backed by entrepreneur (and Bitcoin advocate) Barry Silbert, said last week it was currently in talks with the SEC about launching its own publicly traded product, despite withdrawing its application for a listing last month.
Also, cryptocurrency investors are preparing for another Bitcoin hard fork next week, in which enthusiasts are planning to split off a second version of the digital currency known as Bitcoin Gold. The last time a Bitcoin hard fork occurred was in August, when a new currency called Bitcoin Cash was created from the original Bitcoin blockchain. In the wake of the fork, both the price of Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash soared, making some investors see the next split as a buying opportunity to end up with two currencies for the price of one.
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