The price of Bitcoin surged past the $20,000 mark to a new record on Wednesday, continuing a dizzying rally for the cryptocurrency.
Bitcoin surged as much as 7.2 percent to an all-time high of $20,890.11 — about two weeks after posting its last record peak on Dec. 1, according to data from cryptocurrency site CoinDesk. The digital coins were recently trading up about 6.1 percent at $20,681.16.
The value of the world’s biggest cryptocurrency has nearly tripled in value this year as it attracted investors hungry for fast gains and resistance to inflation.
It’s also been boosted by hopes that it will become a more widely used payment method, with mainstream digital payments firms such as PayPal and Square allowing Bitcoin on their platforms.
Cryptocurrency backers contend this rally is different from the 2017 surge that pushed Bitcoin near the $20,000 mark because it’s been driven by interest from institutional investors — along with big names such as Stanley Druckenmiller and Paul Tudor Jones — rather than speculation by small-time traders, according to CNBC.
S&P Dow Jones Indices — the Wall Street giant behind the benchmark S&P 500 stock index — recently announced plans to launch cryptocurrency indices next year, making it the latest mainstream finance name to dip its toe in the water.
“We have seen a significant shift in the demographic of those interested and invested in crypto,” Yoni Assia, co-founder and CEO of the online investment platform eToro, told CNBC. “[It’s] no longer the domain of just computer programmers and fintech advocates.”