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Bitcoin nears US$6,000 as more institutions embrace it

Madrid

BITCOIN climbed to a fresh 2019 high, approaching the US$6,000 level for the first time since November.

The largest digital coin climbed as much as 4.7 per cent to US$5,961 as of 9.25 am in London, according to Bloomberg composite pricing.

Most of the other highly traded tokens were up as well, though they lagged Bitcoin.

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The world's most-followed cryptocurrency has been drawing attention from technical analysts and conventional investment firms as it claws its way back from last year's 74 per cent plunge that took it below US$4,000.

"Bitcoin is testing new near-term highs because the overall institutional involvement is becoming stronger and stronger," Jehan Chu, managing partner at Kenetic Capital, said by phone from Hong Kong.

"We're just seeing institution after institution lining up to the thesis of digital currency, and Bitcoin is the standard bearer."

Fidelity Investments, which began a custody service to store Bitcoin earlier this year, plans to buy and sell it for institutional customers within a few weeks, according to a person familiar with the matter.

"Fidelity alone doesn't move the entire needle, but Fidelity with E*Trade and Ameritrade and Robin Hood and a whole host," said Mr Chu, whose firm is a blockchain investment and advisory company.

"You're seeing a critical mass of these types of asset managers and brokers providing retail exposure and retail access to crypto." BLOOMBERG