The price of a bitcoin rose just above $19,000 on Tuesday for the first time in nearly three years. This brought the cryptocurrency very near to breaking its all-time high of just under $20,000.
The price in euro reached 15,965.
Bitcoin had risen to just above $19,000 on Tuesday morning, then dropped back to $18, 893 in early afternoon. Bitcoin has gained nearly 40 per cent in November alone and is up around 160 per cent this year.
Currently, bitcoin is widely perceived as a hedge to inflation, and as a safe harbour in times of volatility. The dollar’s current weakness is also contributing to send funds into the world’s first cryptocurrency.
“Bitcoin is here to stay,” commented BlackRock’s CIO of fixed income Rick Rieder in an interview with CNBC on Friday.
Rieder said support for bitcoin is coming from millennials, whose attraction to the cryptocurrency and digital payments in general is clear.
“Bitcoin has thel potential to replace gold to a large extent,” Rieder predicted. Not only is bitcoin a relatively secure value, but it is already used in trade to a far wider extendt than gold. “It is so much for functional than passing a bar of gold around,” he noted.
JPMorgan said it sees “considerable” upside in bitcoin as it better competes with gold as an alternative currency, according to a note from October.
The note forecast that millennials will accelerate the adoption of bitcoin, and this will improve its status as both a store of wealth and means of payment.
“Even a modest crowding out of gold as an ‘alternative’ currency over the longer term would imply doubling or tripling of the bitcoin price,” JPMorgan said.