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Bitcoin hits record $1,206 per coin

By
Allen Cone
The price of a bitcoin rose to a record $1,206.60 Friday. Photo by Carlos Amarillo/Shutterstock
The price of a bitcoin rose to a record $1,206.60 Friday. Photo by Carlos Amarillo/Shutterstock

Feb. 24 (UPI) -- Bitcoin's value hit an all-time high Friday with a value of $1,206.60 per coin.

The total value of digital currency is more than $19 billion worldwide, according to CoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index.

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Bitcoin is used worldwide for anonymous digital payments. People sometimes purchase contraband, including drugs, with bitcoins.

The previous record was in November 2013, when it hit $1,165 and $13 billion of bitcoins were in circulation.

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In the past four years, the coin dropped to as low as $200 per coin.

Bitcoin's value has massive fluctuations based on world events and the value of other currency, including in China, Indian and Venezuela.

"Bitcoin is at a stage now that is a lot like the early Web," said Neeraj Agrawal, director of communications at Coin Center, a bitcoin advocacy group, said to MarketWatch. "So if you are focused on a longer time horizon, then obsessing over short term drops and rallies in the price becomes a distraction from the big picture."

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MarketWatch reported the latest price increase was driven by speculation that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission could next month authorize the creation of the first bitcoin-focused exchange-traded fund.

In 2015, Bitcoin was classified as a commodity by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

The coin is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

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A Japanese law is slated to take effect in April that provides a regulatory framework for the bitcoin industry.

With more than 50 exchanges operating worldwide, there is no consolidated bitcoin price with marked differences in currencies.

Trading over 24 hours until midday Friday was $350 million, according to Coin Market Cap.

Daily bitcoin transaction volume has averaged $250 million a day this year, which is a 55 percent increase from 2016, according to Chris Burniske, Blockchain Analyst and products lead at ARK Invest.

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