Bitcoin climbed past $19,000 Tuesday as the world’s best-known cryptocurrency continues its 2020 surge.
The price of bitcoin was trading about 4.25% higher for the session at $19,207, according to data from industry site CoinDesk.
Bitcoin has been on a tear in 2020, skyrocketing over 150% in a jump crypto enthusiasts have credited to unprecedented monetary and fiscal stimulus in response to the Covid-19 crisis as well as interest from big-name investors such as Paul Tudor Jones and Stanley Druckenmiller.
It is now creeping up toward the all-time high of $19,783 posted in a December 2017 rally that saw the values of several cryptocurrencies surge. After hitting that milestone, the bubble burst and bitcoin plummeted to $3,122 the following year.
PayPal recently started letting its users buy, hold and sell virtual currencies. The payments giant is set to enable shopping with crypto early next year.
Bitcoin climbed past $15,000 on Nov. 5 and $18,000 on Nov. 19. Bitcoin’s market value — which is calculated by multiplying the total number of bitcoins in circulation by the price — now stands at $355.9 billion, higher than the $331.8 billion it hit in December 2017, according to CoinDesk.
The total number of bitcoins that will ever be produced is capped at 21 million. The cryptocurrency underwent a key technical event in the spring known as the “halving,” which saw the amount of bitcoins rewarded to the so-called “miners” who add bitcoin transactions to its public ledger get cut in half.