Popular cryptocurrency bitcoin has pushed through the $US5,000 ($6,382) mark for the first time ever. The coin’s value this year alone has increased fivefold. Holy shit.

In other words, back in December bitcoin was trading at less than $US1,000 per coin. Amazingly, it’s been able to absolutely soar in value despite changing regulations and even its own monumental split, which saw a weird nerdy civil war break out within the cryptocurrency’s community.

Experts reckon the price is being pushed up, at least partially, by big companies taking interest in the coin’s underlying technology, blockchain. Put simply, blockchain is a secure digital ledger that can be used for a massive range of purposes. We did an explainer on the topic that you can check out at the link below.

When measured in terms of internet searches, data analytics firm SEMrush says interest is growing daily. They reckon Google searches relating to bitcoin had a 96 percent correlation with its price, which is helping to push up demand.

Now that the cryptocurrency has surpassed the $US5K mark, finance nerds reckon it could continue to rise even higher, with some saying it could even double again within a year. Yeesh.

On the other side of the debate, folks like big-wig hedge fund manager Ray Dalio reckon the coin’s rise is a bubble that’s ready to burst. So there’s that.

Despite its seemingly robust nature, bitcoin is still a pretty risky investment with a volatility ten times that of gold. But if you’re looking to ride the wave, it’s probably still a good time to paddle in if you’ve got a healthy appetite for risk.

Bitcoin is trading at $7,147 AUD at the time of writing.

Source: SMH
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