Bitcoin prices surged nearly 7% this week, as perceived economic and political risks drove investors to the safety of cryptocurrency.
According to CoinDesk, the BTC/USD exchange rate was trading at $749.94 Saturday afternoon, virtually unchanged from the previous close. Bitcoin surpassed $750 several times this week, but failed to extend gains above that critical level. The BTC/USD is currently trading at its highest level since June.
Several market forces are driving demand for cryptocurrency. Concerns of further yuan intervention by the People?s Bank of China (PBOC) and a decree by the Indian government to purge certain bills out of circulation impacted bitcoin?s value this week. Uncertainty surrounding President-elect Donald Trump?s economic policies is also?driving demand for bitcoin.
Trump?s surprise election on November 8 triggered a massive rally in equities. It also created currency turmoil as the US dollar surged to nearly 14-year highs against a basket of other major currencies.
The year 2016 has been a roller coaster for bitcoin. The cryptocurrency enjoyed a prolonged period of stability through the first half of year, reaching multi-year highs in June. Prices plunged in the latter half of summer after a high-profile security breach of a Hong Kong-based bitcoin exchange raised fresh worries about the viability of digital currencies. Bitcoin has since reversed its summer losses and appears poised to test new highs.
Bitcoin is also benefiting from technical improvements to the network, which could alleviate concerns about the currency?s transaction capacity. Cryptocurrency enthusiasts are hopeful that a maturing market will lead to greater stability in a market still prone to wild gyrations.