Bitcoin smashes $1,000-mark at turn of New Year

Digital currency’s value rises 125% in 12 months

Bitcoin's value hit $1,020 (831) at the turn of the New Year, capping a 125% rise in value across the last 12 months.

The cryptocurrency surpassed the $1,000 mark for the first time since December 2013, more than doubling in value from $432.58 at the start of 2016, according to XE's currency chart.

Some observers attributed its 125% climb in value to growing interest from China, according to the Guardian, whose national currency, the Yuan, lost 7% of its value last year. China is where most bitcoin trading occurs, according to Reuters.

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CoinDesk charts showed Bitcoin trading up to $1,029 today, falling to $1,019 before the close of business. This is still some way off its peak value of $1,230 in December 2013, according to XE's data.

"The growing war on cash, and capital controls, is making bitcoin look like a viable, if high risk, alternative," said Paul Gordon, a board member of the UK Digital Currency Association and co-founder of Quantave, a firm seeking to make it easier for institutional investors to access digital currency exchanges.

Bitcoin outperformed all central bank-issued currencies over 2016, but is a volatile medum of exchange. Following its 2013 spike, Bitcoin had lost half of this value by mid-February 2014 after Mt. Gox - the largest Bitcoin exchange at the time - halted withdrawals, before filing for bankruptcy later that month.

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However, CoinDesk predicted that this time around, Bitcoin's value will continue to rise, writing: "As asserted by analysts, 2017 is expected to be a banner year, one that could finally lead the price to pass its all-time high of $1,216.7 set in 2013."

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