Bitcoin hits another record high as it climbs above $5 000

BRITAIN-POLITICS-BANKING

And as a new asset with a smaller pool of investors, cryptocurrencies are subject to wild swings in value. The digital currency has soared 750% in the past year, and is now worth four times as much as an ounce of gold.

Bitcoin traders might be feeling good right now: For much of September, Bitcoin's value took a dive, at one point losing about a third of its worth from summer highs.

Recent reports that the Chinese government will ease regulations and that Goldman Sachs is exploring how it could help its clients trade cryptocurrencies are now helping sentiment. A year ago it was trading at less than $650.

'The interest really stems from the media hype, ' he added. Authorities in Russia also recently addressed the topic, with Russian President Vladimir Putin offering assurances that plans to regulate the currency would place no "excessive barriers" to trading - opening up a major potential market, as Fortune notes.

Data released last week from SEMrush, a search engine data analytics firm, found the price had a 91 percent correlation with Google searches on bitcoin, suggesting that all news - whether negative or positive - drives up demand, even if bad news can have a temporary negative effect.

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One bitcoin is now valued at $5,161 as of 0822 GMT.

"Bitcoin was created to operate outside of the influence of governments and central banks, and is doing exactly that", said Iqbal Gandham, Managing Director at retail trading app eToro, which has seen huge increases in cryptocurrency trading volumes.

Unlike a real-world unit such as the U.S. dollar or euro, bitcoin has no central bank and is not backed by any government. But determining its value is hard. "For bitcoin no such fundamentals exist".

Bitcoin jumped 6% today to break through $5,000 for the first time ever. Its gradual price rise over the years has also made it a favorite among cryptocurrency speculators.

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