Bitcoin surges towards £10,000 as Facebook reveals plan to launch cryptocurrency Libra next year

BITCOIN'S value is surging towards £10,000 boosted by Facebook's decision to launch a cryptocurrency next year.

The digital currency's value had been steadily falling following its high of nearly $20,000 (£15,638) reached back in December 2017.

It dropped to just over $3,200 (£2,496) in December 2018 but the past few months it's begun climbing, and in the last few weeks it's experienced a meteoric resurgence.

Bitcoin's value climbed to hit $12,682 this morning, which is just shy of £10,000 at £9,912.

It's the first time the volatile online currency has hit this level since January 2018 and experts reckon Facebook's announcement has given the cryptocurrency a boost.

The social media platform revealed plans earlier this month to launch a new cryptocurrnecy called Libra.

Facebook will operate its own digital wallet for people to spend Libra, known as the Calibra Wallet, which will be available in WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and as a standalone app.

Users will be able to send money to each other initially, at low to no cost.

Gary McFarlane, a cryptocurrency analyst at investment platform Interactive Investor, said: "Bitcoin’s decisive break above the psychologically important $10,000 mark is being driven by institutional investors [large companies] and the afterglow from Facebook’s Libra news.

"Expectations in the marketplace of more crypto moves by big tech firms and other companies is also adding to confidence, despite the prospect of regulators and politicians stalling Facebook’s Libra crypto efforts."

What is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin got you baffled? Here's what you need to know:

  • Bitcoin is a virtual currency
  • It's traded between people without the help of a bank
  • Every transaction is recorded in a public ledger, or 'blockchain'
  • Bitcoin is created by mining
  • Mining involves solving difficult maths problems using computer processors
  • Bitcoin can be traded anonymously, which makes it a popular way of funding illegal activities
  • The value of Bitcoin fluctuates wildly
  • Bitcoin is one of many different cryptocurrencies, but by far the most popular

And Mr McFarlane reckons Bitcoin's value could continue to rise, although he points out that whenever Bitcoin rises, a crash is inevitable.

He said: "Talk is now turning to the possibility of a rise in the Bitcoin price beyond the previous all-time high at $20,000 in December 2017.

"With end of year targets of $40,000 from Wall Street analyst Thomas Lee of Fundstrat Global Advisors and commodity trader Peter Brandt saying $100,000 for next year is a possibility, it is starting to feel like 2017 all over again.

"That might sound fanciful but on past form it is a possibility – and so is a crash from wherever any potential new all-time high might form.

"Also adding fuel to the buying pressure today are rumours that Russia is set to legalise crypto trading, which would bring yet more potential buyers into the market."

That said experts have raised concerns about Facebook's new currency saying it could be used to spy on what you're buying and will be used to harvest your data.

Check out our Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies homepage for all the latest news on cryptocurrencies and what these alternative currencies actually are.

And before you invest a penny do your research – as with all investments your cash can go down as well as up and you could end up losing all of your money.

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