Cryptocurrency market continues to see huge gains as value doubles in less than two months
The price of bitcoin has once again shot up, gaining more than 10 per cent in value in less than 24 hours.
The cryptocurrency reached $8,900 (£7,000) on some exchanges on Monday, having traded below $4,000 less than two months ago.
Other major cryptocurrencies have benefited from bitcoin’s good fortune, with ethereum, litecoin and bitcoin cash all experiencing significant gains since Sunday.
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Market analysts have pointed to a number of factors that could have contributed to the remarkable price jump, including a run of good news in the cryptocurrency space.
Price manipulation has also been cited as a factor by some experts, who blame large holders of the cryptocurrency for bending the price at their will through huge sell-offs.
Whatever the cause, analysts believe bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies will continue to see more price gains in the coming months.
A panel of cryptocurrency experts put together by finance firm Finder predicted bitcoin would be trading at around $9,659 by December 2019.
Nearly half of the panellists also forecast that bitcoin’s current surge would see its price exceed its record high of close to $20,000, which it reached in December 2017.
However, half of the panellists said the market surge would be followed by a similar price crash that occurred in 2018.
For more than 12 months following its record high, bitcoin saw its price fall and stagnate before finally showing signs of recovery earlier this year.
Bitcoin has experienced the biggest price gains since 2017, when the cryptocurrency’s value shot up close to $20,000 (Getty Images)
For bitcoin to maintain such a high value it will need to see advances in its usability as a form of mainstream currency, according to Fred Schebsta, co-founder of cryptocurrency brokerage firm HiveEx,.
“While I believe bitcoin will rise a little further this year, usability still has a long way to go before real value will exist,” he said.
“It is also possible that we may see another crash like what we saw in December 2017, when bitcoin dropped by roughly 40 per cent within a few days. But long-term, bitcoin and other digital currencies are very likely to stick around and change the way we do banking.”
The cryptocurrency may face competition from other digital currencies, rumoured to be in development by major tech companies like Facebook.
Last week, details about Facebook’s GlobalCoin cryptocurrency were revealed, pointing to a potential launch date of 2020.
If successful, Facebook would be able to use its user base of more than 2 billion people to push its growth to levels never seen by bitcoin.
“The launch of GlobalCoin is all about Facebook monetising its huge user base in a new way,” Simon Peters, an analyst at the online trading platform eToro, told .
“What Facebook will charge in terms of fees remains unclear, but if it is cheaper and easier to use than traditional payment methods or even certain cryptocurrencies, it could reinvent itself as the go-to place for online payments.”