Bitcoin jumps above $5,000

Bitcoin jumped above the $5,000 level for the first time in four months with other major crypto currencies also climbing. The abrupt rally — now a rarity for this once red-hot asset — took the price to its highest level in almost five months in under an hour, and marked the biggest jump since the height of the cryptocurrency craze in late 2017. Then, the bitcoin price hit more than $19,000. This year, it has mostly been stuck under $4,000 and jumped as much as 24 per cent.

Bitcoin had trimmed those gains slightly to be 13.8 per cent higher at $4,705 and on track for its biggest one-day gain in more almost a year. The trigger for the rally was unclear, which is often the case for an unregulated asset untethered to central banks or to economic data. But some did not rule out the possibility that it was sparked by an article published online on Monday — April Fool’s Day — entitled “SEC drops the Bomb: Approves Bitcoin ETFs.” But it is perhaps more likely that the price surge was initially driven by demand from large cryptocurrency traders — known as “whales” for their ability to create price waves when they surface. Despite the move, bitcoin remains more than 75 per cent below its record high of $19,666 seen in December 2017.

Ethereum, the second-largest crypto currency by market capitalisation had gained 5.7 per cent over the past 24 hours, according to Whilst Bitcoin fans on Reddit were jubilant and some celebrated the move with ‘gifs’ of rollercoasters heading skywards and predictions that the “bull market has begun”. Others, however, were more circumspect, “don’t worry – when everyone on Reddit is all ‘we’re back baby!!’ then it’s a suckers rally and it crashes pretty soon afterward”. After the spike, prices pulled back somewhat to about $4,700.