Bitcoin rose to a nearly three-year high on Friday as investors continued to scramble to take the virtual currency because it is expected that the Bitcoin may exceed historical high of nearly $20,000.

Bitcoin soared to US$18,766.79 (approximately 1.39 million rupees), the highest level since December 2017. The latest rise was 4.9% to US$18,696 (approximately 13.86 billion rupees). So far this week, it has risen by 17%, the biggest weekly gain since June 2019, and it has risen by more than 160% so far this year.

Alex Mashinsky, CEO of Celsius Network, a cryptocurrency lending platform, said: “Today, Bitcoin has reached a position where institutional investors, banks and family financial institutions legitimately consider intervention to defend against currency devaluation.”

He added that in 2017, Bitcoin’s rise was led by retail investors who were early adopters.

He added: “Because large companies like LINE and PayPal participated in this operation, we can expect to be more stable than the 2017 bubble. This is no longer a gold rush.”

The Bitcoin market now has a fully functional derivatives market and custody services of mature financial institutions. Large companies including Fidelity and Japan’s Nomura have begun to protect Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies for institutional investors.

Other major cryptocurrencies, including Ethereum and XRP, rise alongside Bitcoin, rising 7.2% to 505.2 US dollars and 3% to 31 cents, respectively.

© Thomson Reuters 2020

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