Bitcoin’s price rose 20% over the weekend and hit a two-year high

Investors must be pleased.
Investors must be pleased.
Image: Reuters/Shannon Stapleton
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Bitcoin soared more than 20% over the weekend, and hit a two-year high of $719.85 on Monday morning trading GMT, before dropping a bit when European markets opened.

Bitcoin’s been on a tear recently. On May 22, the price was at $438.77. Then the big rally started, rising 59% so far.

It’s still unclear what’s driving the surge. Some observers believe it’s related to the so-called “halving” event coming up in July, which will slice the reward paid to computing rigs, called miners, that confirm transactions on the bitcoin ledger by solving complex equations from 25 bitcoins to 12.5. Since such rewards account for all new bitcoin creation, bitcoins will become more scarce, especially as the math equations involved will be more complex.

Others believe that demand is being driven by global economic fears, such as the possible Brexit and China’s weakening economy, which are leading investors into an investment that isn’t linked to any one country.

Zerohedge pegs the jump to China’s currency controls—because bitcoin is unregulated, investors in China can move their money to the digital currency to avoid restrictions.

Vinny Lingham, a bitcoin analyst, believes that the price of bitcoin will have a near-term ceiling of around $700 until the halving event next month. The event will likely lead to a lot of volatility, but could propel bitcoin to the $1,000 range by the end of the year, he says.

And it’s not just bitcoin that’s booming. Ether, an increasingly popular digital currency, is up more than 500% since launching less than a year ago, setting an all time high of $17.41 USD earlier today.