PUBLISHED: 11:02, Wed, Jan 6, 2021 | UPDATED: 11:17, Wed, Jan 6, 2021
The price of bitcoin has now achieved a new record high, with the crypto surpassing $36,000 (£26,000) for the first time in its 12-year history. BTC has fallen slightly in value since its 4.44 am GMT high and is currently trading at $34,380 (£25,177) as of 10.30am GMT, according to CoinDesk.com data.
This latest record-breaking high means BTC now boasts a market cap of approximately $650 billion [£476 billion], meaning the digital currency is more valuable than Visa and Mastercard.
A third all-time price high for bitcoin since December is a clear sign of a bull market
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Experts believe bitcoin has benefitted from recent significant institutional investment resulting from economic uncertainty due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
And analysts forecast bitcoin’s record-breaking run could well continue.
Marcus Swanepoel, CEO of cryptocurrency exchange Luno, believes it is noteworthy how JPMorgan strategists this week claimed that bitcoin could break $100,000.
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Bitcoin price rise: Significant institutional investment is driving BTC's rise (Image: Getty)
Bitcoin price rise: The crypto surpassing $36,000 (£26,000) for the first time in its history on Wednesday (Image: CoinDesk)
Mr Swanepoel told Express.co.uk: "There's every indication that bitcoin will continue to increase in price.
"Drops of between 20 30 percent like we saw over the weekend are not entirely uncommon in a bull market, but bitcoin's ability to bounce back and again break its all-time high in such a short space of time indicates a maturity in the market that just hasn't been present in recent bull runs.
"Many have been predicting bitcoin could reach the $50,000 - $100,000 to (£36,621 to £73,243) mark in 2021, and if the first week of the year is anything to go by that may well be the case.
“It's early days, but the signs are positive. And, while we all hope for a return to normal as soon as possible, the continuing economic uncertainty will only strengthen the position of bitcoin and increase its standing as an alternative investment in these trying