LONDON: Bitcoin rose strongly on Tuesday, on course to gain for a fifth straight day, in a rally that has left the cryptocurrency within touching distance of an all-time high hit last month.
The digital currency was trading up 3.3 per cent at US$54,206 amidst a broadly supportive risk rally, climbing toward a record high of US$58,354.14 seen on Feb 21.
Bitcoin has risen about 87 per cent this year, broadly outperforming conventional asset classes, partly due to broader acceptance as a form of payment.
On Tuesday, bitcoin's surge fueled gains in related stocks, sending shares of cryptocurrency miners Riot Blockchain Inc and Marathon Digital Holdings Inc soaring 28 per cent and 22 per cent, respectively.
In recent weeks, companies have taken advantage of bitcoin's strength to raise hundreds of millions of dollars in funding, capitalising on improved market sentiment.
Bitcoin bank Silvergate Capital Corp on Tuesday launched a US$300 million program to sell shares, less than two months since it raised equity, while business intelligence software company MicroStrategy Inc recently issued notes in order to fund more bitcoin purchases.