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Bitcoin approaches record high as it smashes through $18,000

The world’s top cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, rallied above $18,000 on Wednesday for the first time in almost three years. Analysts attributed the surge to global events and bullish fundamentals in crypto.

The price of Bitcoin has ranged between $16,560 and $18,062 over the past 24 hours. It was trading at $18,194 as of 08:15 GMT.

Bitcoin is now up 146 percent on a year-to-date basis and has gained nearly 70 percent so far this quarter, according to CoinDesk 20 data.

“A few recent events have undoubtedly had an impact,” Antoni Trenchev, co-founder and managing partner at crypto lender Nexo, told the CoinDesk. “Institutional investment by the likes of MicroStrategy and Square, PayPal actively shilling crypto, and the Bitcoin halving in May,” were likely causes for its continual rise, he explained.

Other experts point to global events such as the Covid pandemic and negative interest rates in traditional markets, such as Germany, as the outliers for Bitcoin’s meteoric rise this year.

“Interest rates are the most important factor in people’s decisions on where to deposit money,” said Ki Young Ju, CEO at analytics firm CryptoQuant. “I’m sure negative interest rates will drive adoption in crypto, whether it’s direct purchasing crypto/index funds or using staking services.”

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The easy-money policies of central banks, and increased government spending from some of the world’s largest economies, including Europe and the United States in recent months have also been named among the reasons for Bitcoin’s rise.

“I think it basically comes down to monetary and fiscal policy,” Kyle Davies, co-founder of Three Arrows Capital, was quoted as saying by CoinDesk. “Central banks can lower rates until they get to slightly negative, and then they have to print money.”

Davies added that, at that point, the central banks’ dependency on newly printed money will make “BTC [Bitcoin] attractive.”

The world’s best-known and most valuable cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, has more than doubled in price this year, akin to its rally in late 2017, which saw it narrow in on the $20,000 mark.

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