Wednesday 26 June 2019 9:50 am

Bitcoin surges towards $13,000 as Facebook Libra boosts bullish market

Bitcoin has surged to its highest level since January 2018 as its recent boom continues to gather pace.

The cryptocurrency rose to just shy of $13,000 (£10,300) yesterday before dipping slightly to just over $12,500, according to data from Bitstamp.

Read more: Bitcoin pulls back from 18-month high as cryptocurrency catches Libra fever

Bitcoin is up more than 200 per cent in the year to date, as the bullish market has reversed losses in 2018.

Analysts have also cited Libra, a new cryptocurrency proposed by Facebook, as a potential cause of renewed interest in Bitcoin. 

“We’re still some way from the peak above $19,000 reached in trading at the end of 2017, but the scale of the recent appreciation is striking,” analysts at Deutsche Bank wrote.

“Obviously recent dovishness from central banks has seen investors look towards alternative currencies, but perhaps Facebook’s unveiling of its Libra currency has seen investors look again at cryptocurrencies with fresh eyes.”

The recent boost puts Bitcoin’s market capitalisation at more than $224bn, according to Coin Market Cap.

Read more: Bitcoin rallies to $11,000: Is it different this time?

“The bullish signals for Bitcoin have been present for some time, with greater buying and interest from major banks, institutions and groups of specialist buyers adding liquidity to the market,” said Marcus Swanepoel, chief executive at cryptocurrency firm Luno.

“As  the geopolitical situation remains so uncertain, strategic investors are still looking at Bitcoin and Ethereum as uncorrelated with centralised assets, so provide a quasi safe-haven option,” he added.