LONDON: Bitcoin's price surged past US$50,000 on Monday (Aug 23) for the first time since May, continuing its rebound from a months-long slump.
The world's largest cryptocurrency rose to US$50,341, as investors bet that the prospect of more US stimulus spending would lead to further gains, and more mainstream financial services firms made moves in the nascent asset class.
Bitcoin has risen 81 per cent since hitting a yearly low of US$27,700 in January.
Meanwhile, the price of rival cryptocurrency ether rose 2.8 per cent to US$3,337. The virtual coin has risen 91 per cent since slumping to below US$1,740 last month.
The cryptocurrency recovery comes as some more established financial services companies offer their customers access to virtual coins. PayPal Holdings said on Monday it would allow customers in the UK to buy, sell and hold bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies starting this week.
Some traders believe the bitcoin market has yet to see the full return of retail investors, suggesting the current upswing could have further to go.
"The last time bitcoin was at US$50,000, the Google trends (tracking website showing Bitcoin searches) was much higher than what it is now," Marcus Sotiriou, a sales trader at the UK based digital asset broker GlobalBlock, said in a note.
"This suggests that retail euphoria hasn't entered the market yet and bitcoin has a long way to go in this market cycle."