Bitcoin is climbing higher as investors and speculators jump on the opportunity to bet on the virtual currency’s potential to disrupt the world of real-world currency.
The cryptocurrency surpassed $20 per bitcoin in late trading on Thursday, a level it has never reached before, as investors sought the ability to speculate on its value.
“We’ve got a lot of people who really like Bitcoin and want to speculate,” said Jeff Kwan, chief investment officer at Kwan Investing, a New York-based investment advisory firm.
“I think the market is looking to invest in Bitcoin as a hedge against things like deflation, a potential decline in Bitcoin prices, and what could be a lot more volatility.”
The value of the cryptocurrency is already surging.
The price of a Bitcoin in the U.S. hit $19,000 on Thursday.
The currency has soared more than 300 percent this year.
A surge in Bitcoin trading, coupled with a recent surge in interest in virtual currencies, have helped fuel the price surge.
“Bitcoin is just about as volatile as the rest of the world, which means it’s a great place to invest,” said David Moulton, founder of Coinfloor, an online bitcoin trading platform.
“There’s a lot going on in the world right now, and Bitcoin is one of the few places where it’s really not going anywhere.”
Some Bitcoin users have been speculating that the currency could see a sudden and dramatic rise in value because of an upcoming government crackdown on money laundering and tax evasion.
In addition to Bitcoin’s recent surge, the digital currency has also taken a big hit from the government’s crackdown on offshore tax evasion and currency speculation.
The Department of Homeland Security announced Thursday that it will launch a crackdown on tax evasion, which will require foreign investors to declare their assets to the government.
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