Bitcoin extends monster rally, approaches $19,000

HONG KONG: The largest cryptocurrency got pretty close to a $19,000 threshold for the first time in almost three years, fueling crypto enthusiasts’ hopes that bitcoin may beat its last record.

The price of bitcoin has hovered between $18,107.86 and $18,964.64 over the past 24 hours, with the last peak reached during early morning trading on Saturday. As of 07:03 GMT it stood at $18,626.91, up more than two percent.

This latest peak is only $1,000 short of its all-time high that was reached at the end of 2017. Back then bitcoin was trading at nearly $20,000, before facing a steep decline and losing 70 percent of its value the following year. A bitcoin rally usually triggers the growth of smaller crypto assets too. Most of the top ten cryptocurrencies were trading higher on Saturday, with gains ranging between one percent to over 18 percent, with Ripple’s XRP rising most of all.

While some analysts are already warning that the explosive growth, which has seen the cryptocurrency more than double in value this year, may end with a steep fall, some investors and banks are still bullish about the future of bitcoin. It was recently reported that Wall Street giant Citibank called bitcoin “21st century gold,” and predicts it may reach $318,000 by the end of next year.

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