HONG KONG (BLOOMBERG) – Bitcoin vaulted above US$29,000 to reach yet another record level on the last day of 2020, showing no signs of slowing down its torrid December rally.
The largest cryptocurrency climbed to as high as US$29,292 as of 8:42am in Hong Kong on Thursday (Dec 31), pushing its December advance to 50 per cent. Bitcoin is on track for its biggest monthly gain since May 2019.
Bitcoin has now quadrupled in value this year amid the global coronavirus pandemic, while the wider Bloomberg Galaxy Crypto Index tracking the largest digital currencies is up about 280 per cent as rival coins such as Ether have also rallied.
The latest price surge continues to divide opinion between those who view cryptocurrencies as a hedge against dollar weakness and inflation risk, and others who question Bitcoin’s validity as an asset class given its speculative nature and boom-and-bust cycles.
Regulatory concerns also remain a wider factor for crypto investors. The Securities and Exchange Commission this month accused Ripple Labs and its top executives of misleading investors in affiliated token XRP. While Ripple plans to challenge the accusation in the courts, the development underscores the prospect of stricter oversight of digital assets.
XRP has plummeted almost 70 per cent this month and faces further pressure with Coinbase the latest exchange to announce plans to suspend trading in the token. Coinbase also faces a proposed class-action lawsuit over the commissions the exchange collected for selling the token.