Newsdeck

Bitcoin reaches 18-month high as Facebook’s Libra spurs interest

By Reuters 26 June 2019
Caption
(FILE) - A Facebook logo on a stand during the Vivatech startups and innovation fair, in Paris, France, 16 May 2019 (reissued 18 June 2019). US social media giant Facebook announced on 18 June 2019 its plans for their cryptocurrency named Libra. It is scheduled to rolled out in 2020. EPA-EFE/Julien de Rosa

LONDON, June 26 (Reuters) - Bitcoin jumped to an 18-month high on Wednesday, a surge analysts said was caused by nervous traders looking for safety in alternative investments and expectations that Facebook's Libra could turn cryptocurrencies mainstream.

* Bitcoin rockets towards $13,000

* Analysts point to safe-haven bids, Libra enthusiasm

* Biggest cryptocurrency up 240% since January (Adds details, context)

By OLGA COTAGA

The world’s biggest cryptocurrency has surged in value since April and was trading close to $13,000 on Wednesday. It is now up 240% since the start of the year, although it remains below its all-time high of nearly $20,000.

Investors have flooded back into digital currencies after a bruising 2018. Bitcoin has risen for eight consecutive days. And now Facebook has said it would offer its own cryptocurrency, the Libra coin, by end of June 2020.

Analysts say Facebook’s announcement this month has revived interest in coins, while investors seeking safety have also pushed up Bitcoin’s price.

“It obviously does appear to be benefiting from some sort of flows that gold is benefiting, too,” said Michael Hewson, chief market strategist at CMC Markets. “You’ve got all this stuff about Libra going on, which is renewing interest in bitcoin. Crypto is back in vogue.”

He added, though, that the investors buying bitcoin were speculative.

With major central banks keeping interest rates near all-time lows, investors have been looking for ways to diversify their portfolios, including through cryptocurrenies, analysts say.

Bitcoin CME futures volumes have increased in the past few days as investors look for ways to get their hands on the coin via the derivatives market. Bitcoin last traded at $12,430 on the Bitstamp exchange after reaching a high of $12,935 earlier in the Asian session.

The cryptocurrency has rocketed 150% since early May, along with big rises in other smaller digital currencies such as Ethereum’s ether and Ripple’s XRP.

(Reporting by Olga Cotaga; editing by Tommy Wilkes, Larry King)

Gallery

In other news...

July 18 marks Nelson Mandela day. All over the country, South African citizens devote 67 minutes to charitable causes in memory of Madiba. It's a great initiative and one of those few occasions in South Africa where we come together as a nation in pursuit of a common cause. An annual 67 minutes isn't going to cut it though.

In the words of Madiba: "A critical, independent and investigative free press is the lifeblood of any democracy."

Every day Daily Maverick investigates and exposes the deep rot of state capture and corruption but we need your help. Without our readers' support we simply won't survive. We created Maverick Insider as a membership platform where our readers can become part of our community while ensuring that we can keep doing the investigations that we do and, crucially, that our articles remain free to everyone that reads them. Sign up to Maverick Insider this Mandela Month and make that meaningful contribution last longer than 67 minutes.For whatever amount you choose, you can support Daily Maverick and it only takes a minute.

Support Daily MaverickPayment options


Comments - share your knowledge and experience

Please note you must be a Maverick Insider to comment. Sign up here or if you are already an Insider.

ZUMA'S STALINGRAD

Minister of Intelligence: ‘I won’t touch Zuma dossier now. Let Commission complete its work’

By Ferial Haffajee

"What magic are you who dies and still lives on?" ~ Lebo Mashile