Bitcoin bursts through $5,000 for first time
LONDON - Agence France-Presse
Bitcoin surged through the $5,000 level on Oct. 12 for the first time since the launch of the unregulated virtual currency more than eight years ago.
The cryptocurrency struck a new record high of $5,183.97 around 0820 GMT according to financial data provider Bloomberg.
Bitcoin, a virtual currency created from computer code, was worth only a few U.S. cents was launched in 2009 by someone using the Japanese-sounding name Satoshi Nakamoto.
Unlike a real-world unit such as the U.S. dollar or euro, bitcoin has no central bank and is not backed by any government. Just like other currencies, bitcoins can be exchanged for goods and services -- or for other currencies -- provided the other party is willing to accept them.
Bitcoin’s community of users control and regulate the currency, and the anonymity of transactions that endears it to libertarians has raised concerns that it can be abused by criminals.
The lack of transparency has also sparked concerns that the swings in its value may be due to speculative trading.