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Digital-currency Bitcoin's value overtakes gold

By Conor Coyle

Date: Friday 03 Mar 2017

Digital-currency Bitcoin's value overtakes gold

(ShareCast News) - Bitcoin's value continues to rise and the volatile digital currency has overtaken the per-ounce price of gold for the first time, following a 25% rise since the start of the year.
One unit of bitcoin was now worth $1280.44, according to CoinDesk's price index, while an ounce of gold was currently worth $1227.90. The yellow metal has been buffeted of late due to US rate hike expectations and political uncertainty.

The digital currency was founded in 2009 and has become a major force in online trading, with many major companies now accepting it as payment for goods and services, among them Microsoft.

Its rise in value has been mostly attributed to a crackdown on its use in China, where authorities have moved to stem the outflow of currency from the country.

While Beijing hoped to decrease the value of bitcoin, increased demand has sent it to an all-time high.

Another likely driver for bitcoin strength in recent months was speculation the Securities and Exchange Commission might approve an ETF for the currency, which would be one of the first official recognitions of its value.

The exchange-traded fund was proposed by former Olympic rowers Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, and a decision was expected from the SEC next week.

Bitcoin has a reputation for being highly volatile, after an initial strong run was halted in 2014 when exchange-host Mt. Gox was declared bankrupt.

The market cap of bitcoin is estimated to be more than $20bn, a figure that could rise if its ETF was approved by the SEC.

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