- Bitcoin rises above $16,000 for the first time on Thursday.
- The digital currency has risen $4,000 in the past 48 hours.
LONDON — Bitcoin passed $16,000 per coin for the first time on Thursday, just 24 hours after clearing $14,000 for the first time ever.
Bitcoin hit $16,000 at around 4.05 p.m. GMT (11.05 a.m. ET) on Thursday. It had passed $15,000 for the first time at about 10.50 a.m. GMT (5.50 a.m. ET) on Thursday and passed $14,000 for the first time late on Wednesday.
Bitcoin continues to break its own record highs against the dollar and has now risen by over $4,000 over the past 48 hours. It has gained well over 1,000% across 2017.
Neil Wilson, a senior analyst at ETX Capital, said in an email: "We're running out of new things to say about this - the price action is exceptional and something that is without any parallels. It's a bubble for sure in its dynamic, we just don't know when or how it will collapse."
The incredible rise means the total value of the cryptocurrency market has now passed $400 billion, according to CoinMarketCap.com. The market surpassed $300 billion just 10 days ago. Bitcoin represents 63% of the value of the entire market, according to CoinMarketCap.com.
The latest bull run began in earnest at the end of October when CME Group, the world's biggest exchange operator, announced plans to launch bitcoin futures contracts that would give institutional investors exposure to the new asset class. The rival Cboe is beating CME Group to the punch, launching its future contracts on Monday.
The Royal Bank of Scotland's chairman, Sir Howard Davies, said on Bloomberg TV on Thursday that he was concerned bitcoin was "a frothy investment bubble."
"All the authorities can do is put up the sign from Dante's Inferno — 'Abandon hope all ye who enter here'," Davies said, according to The Guardian, which reported the comments. "That's what's needed, and it need to come from the Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank, and the Bank of England at the same time."
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