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Bitcoin climbs above US$7,000 as cryptocurrency rally extends
[SYDNEY] Bitcoin climbed to the highest since September, briefly surpassing US$7,000, as a rally in cryptocurrencies gathered pace in trading over the weekend.
Bitcoin advanced 11 per cent to US$6,981.45 as of 7:56am Tokyo time, having earlier hit US$7,585 and surging more than US$1,000 this weekend, according to Bitstamp pricing. The Bloomberg Galaxy Crypto Index is up 7.6 per cent.
The largest cryptocurrency is on a tear after trading closer to US$5,000 at the start of May and has more than doubled since mid-December. Still, it remains a long way off its 2017 peak that topped US$19,000.
The future of virtual currencies remains a contentious debate amid heat from regulators and news of a hack on one large exchange. New York Attorney General Letitia James last month alleged an US$850 million cover-up by the companies behind virtual currency Tether and Bitfinex - one of the world's largest crypto exchanges.
Separately, Binance last week said hackers withdrew 7,000 Bitcoins worth about US$40 million via a single transaction in a "large scale security breach," the latest in a long line of thefts in the digital currency space.