Bitcoin breaks $6K, hits new high

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The price of bitcoin broke $6,000 in heavy trading on Friday afternoon, setting an all-time high in a year that has been full of them for the cryptocurrency.

Bitcoin prices went as high as $6,064 before falling back to slightly below $6,000 by late afternoon, according to Coinbase charts. On Jan. 1, bitcoin was trading at only about $1,000.

The milestone broke not just one but two barriers that were until recently hard to contemplate. Along with setting a new price record, the cryptocurrency achieved for the first time a market capitalization of more than $100 billion.

Bitcoin's recent dramatic gains have surprised some observers, as they seem to suggest that traders — and perhaps the wider community — are shrugging off recent news that China intends to ban trading in digital assets.

And then there were the negative comments made on two occasions earlier this month by JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon that at first seemed to dampen enthusiasm.

All of that now seems to be in the rearview mirror.

One prominent bitcoin advocate was already looking ahead to the next milestone.

Bruce Fenton, CEO of a stealth startup aiming to tokenize securities and a board member at the Bitcoin Foundation, tweeted that a jump from $6,000 to $7,000 would be "not even a 17% move" — hardly insurmountable for an asset known for its dramatic dips and spikes.

"But that's just window dressing — what's really interesting is [the] velocity of inflows," Fenton added, referring to the influx of capital entering the market.

According to CoinMarketCap, $2.3 billion of bitcoin has changed hands in the past 24 hours.

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