cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin Hits $10,000 in Accelerating Recovery From Plunge

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Inside the Current Cryptocurrency Landscape

Bitcoin looks to be proving the naysayers wrong once again.

The largest cryptocurrency breached $10,000 for the first time in two weeks, capping an almost 70 percent rally since the virtual coin hit $5,922 on Feb. 6. The digital token’s plunge from a record high of almost $20,000 in mid-December had renewed concern about the viability of what advocates consider a new asset class.

The cryptocurrency has experienced several large plunges and recoveries since it was introduced in 2009 by a person or group of people using the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto. The token tumbled by about 90 percent in 2011, 70 percent in 2013 and 90 percent in 2014, spurring declarations of its demise.

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Bitcoin is rallying for a seventh time in eight weekday sessions, a feat it hasn’t achieved since early December, and is heading for the biggest weekly gain in six. Optimism for cryptocurrencies is increasing this week as a flood of news on regulatory crackdowns earlier this year has been replaced with more positive headlines.

Coinbase Inc., one of the largest U.S. token exchanges, said it was releasing a service for merchants to accept cryptocurrency payments. South Korean officials signaled they will focus on making digital-assets trading transparent rather than outlawing it altogether, as some traders feared. Last week U.S. regulators articulated a relatively lenient approach to cryptocurrencies in a Senate hearing, as they advocated shutting down unlawful projects and securing investor protections rather than a blanket ban on the sector.

The positive developments are helping digital coins take in stride the latest reports of hacking and suspected fraud at firms holding the assets.

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— With assistance by Todd White

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