Bitcoin breaks through the $16,000 mark

Bitcoin has breached the $16,000 mark, extending the digital currency’s record-breaking surge.

The cryptocurrency began the year below $1,000 but continues to rise despite warnings of a dangerous bubble.

According to Coindesk.com, Bitcoin reached $16,050.83 (£11, 928.78), having soared over 50% in a week.

The new high comes days before the launch of Bitcoin futures on two exchanges, including the world’s largest futures exchange, CME.

Spread betting firm CMC Markets said the rise had all the symptoms of a bubble market, warning “there is no way to know when the bubble will burst”.

What is Bitcoin?

There are two key traits of Bitcoin: it is digital and it is seen as an alternative currency.

Unlike the notes or coins in your pocket, it largely exists online.

Secondly, Bitcoin is not printed by governments or traditional banks.

A small but growing number of businesses, including Expedia and Microsoft, accept bitcoins – which work like virtual tokens.

However, the vast majority of users now buy and sell them as a financial investment.

The digital currency’s rapid ascent from around $1,000 at the start of the year has put it in the spotlight…

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