Bitcoin climbed to the highest since September, jumping as high as $US7,500 ($10,865), as a rally in cryptocurrencies gathered pace in trading over the weekend.
Bitcoin advanced 12 per cent from Friday to $US7,033.41 at midday AEST, having earlier hit $US7,585, according to Bitstamp pricing. The Bloomberg Galaxy Crypto Index is up 7.6 per cent.
The largest cryptocurrency is on a tear after trading closer to $US5,000 at the start of May and has more than doubled since mid-December. Still, it remains a long way off its 2017 peak that topped $US19,000. In 2018, cryptocurrencies slumped, with Bitcoin tumbling throughout the year. It ended last year at $US3829, or about 80 per cent off its peak.
The cryptocurrency’s susceptibility to wild price swings has made it popular among speculators, who are eager for a return to the glory days of 2017 when Bitcoin surged more than 1,400 per cent. Yet extreme volatility is also one reason why the virtual currency has failed to catch on as a global medium of exchange, as intended by its pseudonymous creator. Erratic moves have also deterred institutional investors, whose concerns about cryptocurrencies range from uncertain regulation to exchange hacks and market manipulation.