Bitcoin hits new record high, breaking $8,000 for the first time

Bitcoins

Bitcoin hit a fresh all-time high Sunday above the $8,000 mark after a wild week for the cryptocurrency.

Bitcoin hit a fresh all-time high Sunday above the $8,000 mark after a wild week for the cryptocurrency.

On Sunday around 8:00 p.m. London time, it hit a record high of $8,101.91, according to data from industry website CoinDesk. Bitcoin held above $8,000 in early trade on Monday.

The rally comes on the back of a huge sell-off on Sunday, November 12, where the price of bitcoin fell to around $5,500. That low, to the record high on Sunday, marks a more than 47 percent increase in the cryptocurrency's price.

Bitcoin's price dip last weekend came after a proposed upgrade to the bitcoin network, SegWit2x, which was planned for November 16, was called off. The aim was to increase the transaction speeds of bitcoin, which has increasingly slowed down over the years. If the upgrade had taken place, it would have caused what is known as a "hard fork," causing a new bitcoin spin-off to be formed.

Meanwhile, there has been a slew of positive news which has supported the bitcoin price. Favorable regulation in Japan has managed to offset the clampdown from regulators in countries including China and South Korea.

And there is also potentially rising interest from institutional investors and new products coming onto the market to allow new participants access to bitcoin. CME Group announced plans to introduce a bitcoin futures contract which could help more institutional investors get involved with the cryptocurrency.

CME CEO Terry Duffy told CNBC that the futures product could be available by the second week of December.

Bitcoin is an extremely volatile asset and often shows wild swings in price. Many commentators have poured cold water on bitcoin. JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon recently called bitcoin a "fraud" and said people who invest in it are "stupid." UBS branded bitcoin a "speculative bubble" in a recent note to investors.

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