Bitcoin Jumps above $9,000 to Fresh Records

The price of the digital currency Bitcoin rose above the $9,000 level for the first time in its nine-year history on Sunday, amid growing fears over an asset bubble.

On the U.S.-based Bitfinex exchange, was at $8,955.00 by 03:51 AM ET (08:51 AM GMT) after rising as high as $9,058.30 earlier.

Bitcoin has risen more than 700% in volatile trade this year, with three separate corrections of more than 25% all giving way to subsequent rallies. At current prices bitcoin has a total market capitalization of around $150 billion.

Bitcoin, which is known for sharp swings, has tended to rebound quickly from pullbacks.

Recent volatility has arisen from an uptick in investors switching to alternative cryptocurrencies, most notably bitcoin offshoot bitcoin cash, sending it surging to recent record highs.

Bitcoin’s rapid rise has fueled fears over as asset bubble. The digital currency is still rarely used to purchase actual goods or services, making it almost entirely a vehicle for speculation.

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon recently called bitcoin a “fraud” and UBS branded bitcoin a “speculative bubble” in a recent note to investors.

Prices have been boosted by a recent proliferation of initial coin offerings, in which start-ups create a new virtual coin or token and offer it for public sale…

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