Virtual currency bitcoin has busted the $7,000 barrier for the first time - after growing by more than 600 per cent since the start of the year.
While the currency has gone up and down in the past couple of months, it has doubled in value in just seven weeks, attracting an in-flow of investment reminiscent of 'momentum investing'.
According to the latest information from the Bitstamp exchange, based in Luxembourg, the value of bitcoin this morning reached $7,066.44.
It is thought that today's growth is a result of exchange operator CME Group's decision to launch so-called Bitcoin futures. The organisation plans to do this by the end of the year.
Industry specialist website Coinmarketcap claims that the market capitalisation of bitcoin, which essential refers to the amount of bitcoins in circulation, has hit $117bn.
Inflation will push the local BTC price up as people see the cryptocurrency as a credible bet as a store of value
Paul Hardwood, a bitcoin pundit and founder of investor.one, said that the value of Bitcoin can easily be affected by inflationary pressures.
"Interest rate return for savers is poor and this hike will do little to fix that. Bitcoin demand will increase as it becomes more mainstream and the low return from savings and ISA pots will only mean people are prepared to speculate more," he told V3.
"Zimbabwe has hyper-inflation and it is a massive problem. Bitcoin is $9,000+ a coin on the exchanges there, 30 per cent higher than the rest of the world.
This proves that the value of Bitcoin can vary within countries according to economic pressures, he suggested.
"Although inflation in the UK is much, much lower than Zimbabwe or Venezuela, I expect the same kind of inflationary pressure to positively hit Bitcoin demand.
"People will have more money in their pocket and prices will be higher. This will push the local BTC price up as people see the cryptocurrency as a credible bet as a store of their extra value.
"Banks just can't currently compete annually with the rate return that Bitcoin is seeing daily. Whether people think it's a bubble or not, the difference is staggering"
Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are so detached from the normal ebb and flow of the global economy as to be untouched by slowly rising interest rates
"However if we enter into a Brexit-led recession, fuelled by higher interest rates and lower productivity, I fully expect the UK demand for Bitcoin to fall as people will have less disposable income to speculate with."
Clem Chambers, CEO of stocks and shares website ADVFN, added: "Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are so detached from the normal ebb and flow of the global economy as to be untouched by slowly rising interest rates.
"The whole universe of cryptocurrencies is valued about the same as a single big cap share in the FTSE 100. While Bitcoin's rise might seem wild it is about the same as Google's progress from start up to global giant. Yet Google is just a website, while Bitcoin is a revolution in global finance."
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