Bitcoin tops $12,000 level for first time since January 2018


Bitcoin continued its torrid rally Wednesday, surpassing the $12,000 level for the first time in almost a year and a half.

The largest cryptocurrency surged about 8%, trading at $12,273.08 as of 1:41 p.m. in Tokyo. It has more than tripled this year, with the advance accelerating this month.

Cryptocurrencies have been gaining acceptance and attracting more interest from mainstream institutions, with JPMorgan Chase & Co. seeing client interest in a coin for bond transactions and Facebook Inc. making plans for a cryptocurrency called Libra, among other forays into the space.

The last time Bitcoin climbed above $12,000 was in December 2017. It rose much higher, eventually reaching as high as $19,511 later in the month, but the surge was followed by a precipitous fall that saw it drop below $6,000 by February. All in all, in December 2017 and January 2018, Bitcoin spent about six weeks above $12,000.