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[SYDNEY] Bitcoin topped US$8,000 for the first time, as investors set aside technology concerns that had derailed its advance earlier this month.
Bitcoin rose 4.8 per cent to US$8,071.05 as of 7.17am Sydney time on Monday.
It's now up more than 700 per cent this year after shrugging off a tumble of as much as 29 per cent earlier this month. It's been a tumultuous year for the largest cryptocurrency, with three separate slumps of more than 25 per cent in value all giving way to subsequent rallies.
Even as many skeptics call the asset a bubble waiting to pop, it's becoming too big for many on Wall Street to ignore. The digital currency is gaining the acceptance of professional investors, with CME Group Inc, the world's biggest exchange, poised to start offering futures trading on bitcoin next month.
Recent volatility has also stemmed from a pickup in people switching to alternative virtual currencies, notably, Bitcoin cash. That's gaining popularity due to lower transaction cost and faster speed.
New cryptocurrency iterations are springing up as disagreements over bitcoin's design persist and opportunities for making a quick buck prove hard to pass up.