Bitcoin value hits record high

Bitcoin value hits record high
© Getty Images

Bitcoin is at all-time high, with its value hitting $1,197.96 per coin on Friday and with over $18 billion of the digital currency in circulation.

That's well above its previous peak, in November 2013. At that time, the currency was trading at $1,163 per coin, with $13 billion in circulation.

After that previous high four years ago, bitcoin saw massive losses, dropping down to a value of around $200 per coin in 2015. The market and the total value of the currency in circulation have since rallied.

Bitcoins have been prone to volatile price fluctuations and events as varied as the devaluation of China's yuan and currency policies in India and Venezuela.

ADVERTISEMENT
Goldman Sachs has invested in the currency and the New York Stock Exchange has begun listing bitcoin data, but despite those advances, it is still considered a fringe currency by most.

Bitcoin is regularly used for anonymous digital payments, including on websites like Silk Road, where it can be used to purchase contraband items including drugs.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission decided in 2015 to classify bitcoin as a commodity. But the growth of the currency has prompted talk of further regulation.

Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) and then-Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.), now the director of the Office of Management and Budget, launched the Congressional blockchain caucus in February. The caucus aims to educate members on bitcoin and blockchain technologies, which allow for transactions using digital currencies.