Bitcoin briefly tops $US50,000 level

Bitcoin topped the closely watched $US50,000 level again in an ongoing recovery in the cryptocurrency market from a disorderly rout just three months ago.

The largest virtual coin advanced as much as 3.5% to almost $US50,093 in Asian trading Monday, with other tokens including Ether and Cardano’s ADA also rising. Bitcoin was last above $US50,000 in mid-May.

The revival in virtual currencies has excited animal spirits again among the crypto faithful, putting longer term predictions of $US100,000 or more for Bitcoin back in vogue. Others see the speculative, volatile asset carving out a wider trading range for now.

Bitcoin is “getting nearer the higher end of what I expect as a new trading range in the low-$US40,000s to low-$US50,000s,” Rick Bensignor, chief executive officer at Bensignor Investment Strategies, wrote in a note Monday.

Bitcoin hit a record of almost $US65,000 in April, driven higher by a tide of liquidity, fast-money bets and optimism about growing demand from institutional investors.

But more critical commentary later emerged, including about the environmental cost of the energy consumed by the computers that underpin Bitcoin. An intensifying cryptocurrency crackdown in China also soured the mood. Bitcoin fell below $US30,000 after May’s rout.

The recovery since then has seen the value of more than 9,000 digital tokens tracked by CoinGecko reach about $US2.2 trillion from $US1.2 trillion a month ago.

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