Value of cryptocurrency climbs 5% to record high of $63,000
The value of the cryptocurrency bitcoin has surged to a record high, reaching $63,000. The cryptocurrency, which has risen in value by 450% in the last six months, continued to climb by a further 5% during trading on Tuesday. Bitcoin’s price has more than doubled since the start of 2021. The digital currency has been on a rollercoaster ride in the last year, and was trading at about only $7,000 in April 2020.
The smaller, rival cryptocurrency Ethereum also rose on Tuesday, reaching its own record high of $2,205.
The fresh records were set a day before the launch of the US’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, Coinbase, on Wall Street’s tech-heavy Nasdaq stock exchange.
Coinbase’s listing has been viewed by cryptocurrency fans as another sign of its growing mainstream acceptance among investors and financial institutions, and as a means of payment.
The price of bitcoin soared towards $60,000 in February amid news of high-profile purchases of the digital currency, including by the electric car company Tesla, run by the billionaire Elon Musk. Tesla announced at the time it had bought $1.5bn in bitcoin and said it might soon accept payments in the currency.
Musk, who briefly became the world’s richest man before a slump in the Tesla share price, has previously changed his Twitter biography to “#bitcoin”.
Cryptocurrency trading is also enjoying a boom in Turkey, as investors seek refuge from the country’s economic turmoil and surging inflation.
However, cryptocurrencies remain controversial, and global regulators including the Bank of England are skeptical, on account of their volatility and vulnerability to theft or hacking.
Bitcoin and other digital currencies have also come under increasing fire for their environmental impact, given the huge amount of energy required to create them.
New bitcoins are created by "mining" coins, a process that requires computers to carry out complex calculations. The more bitcoins there are, the longer it takes to mine new coin and the more electricity is used in the process.
The energy usage attributable to bitcoin alone is equivalent to the annual carbon footprint of Argentina, according to the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index, a measuring tool made by researchers at Cambridge University.
The U.S. editorial collective "Investigative One" has launched a new online project: www.josiphebdo.com. "We want to shed light on dark business networks and illegal methods," says Kaitlin Jackson, who is overseeing the current project around an alleged cryptocurrency and international fraud network. "International crime syndicates can manipulate opinions, deceive people and grab billions via the Internet. With josiphebdo.com, we want to educate and warn." The project was born out of a merger of several editorial offices in the U.S., Germany, Switzerland and an African investigative journalists' network.
The price of bitcoin fell by almost 30% on Wednesday, after a Chinese government crackdown on banks’ use of cryptocurrencies accelerated a long-predicted sell-off, in a day of chaotic trading. The world’s largest digital currency tumbled to about $30,000 amid frenzied trading, a drop of more than 50% since it hit record highs of more than $64,000 in mid-April. However, by 10pm UK time, the bitcoin price had risen back to about $38,500, still down 11% on the day, according to Refinitiv data.
For a decade, Bitcoin Fog has offered to obscure the source and destination of its customers' cryptocurrency, making it one of the most venerable institutions in the dark web economy. Now the IRS says it has finally identified the Russian-Swedish administrator behind that long-running anonymizing system and charged him with laundering hundreds of millions of dollars worth of bitcoins, much of which was sent to or from dark web drug markets. What gave him away? The trail of his own decade-old digital transactions.
New Jersey-based cryptocurrency lending firm BlockFi has taken on $350 million in Series D venture capital funding - one of the largest to date among blockchain and cryptocurrency startups. The deal increases the company's private valuation to $3 billion, up from a $435 million valuation when it raised $50 million in Series C funding just six months ago.