Bitcoin extends its record rally this year

By BLOOMBERG

HONG KONG • Bitcoin climbed past US$7,000 (RM29,610) for the first time, breaching another milestone less than one month after it tore through the US$5,000 mark.

Spot pricing for bitcoin climbed as much as 7.1% to a high of US$7,045.46 before pulling back slightly to US$6,977.40 at 9:27am in London yesterday.

The cryptocurrency is up as much as 640% this year and is now worth more than US$100 billion.

The digital currency obtained new impetus this week after CME Group Inc — the world’s largest exchange owner — said it plans to introduce bitcoin futures by the end of the year, having cited pent-up demand from clients.

According to sceptics — including Themis Trading — the rally is evidence that the software-created asset is a bubble that should not be given regulatory cover.

“It is simply remarkable how resilient bitcoin has been in the face of significant negativity,” said Lukman Otunuga, a research analyst at Forex Time Ltd, in a note to clients on Wednesday.

“The price action suggests that bulls have a very firm grip,” Otunuga added.