By Tom Wilson
LONDON (Reuters) – Bitcoin on Wednesday broke through $18,000 to hit a new year-to-date peak as its blistering 2020 rally, driven by demand for its perceived quality as an inflation hedge and expectations of mainstream acceptance, powered on.
The original and biggest cryptocurrency was last up 3% at $18,175, its highest since Dec. 2017. It has gained over 160% this year, and has jumped 17% in the last 3 days alone.
Bitcoin is now close to its all-time high of just under $20,000, which it touched at the peak of its retail investor-fuelled 2017 bubble.
The emerging asset’s 12-year history has been peppered with vertiginous price rises and equally sharp crashes.
(Reporting by Tom Wilson, editing by Sinead Cruise)