Facebook’s Libra plans help Bitcoin jump 10 percent to reach 15-month highs, as investors hope to see cryptocurrencies move into the mainstream
Bitcoin jumped 10 percent over the weekend to surpass $11,000 (£8,637) for the first time in more than a year on Monday, on optimism that industry watchers said was in part due to Facebook’s launch of its Libra cryptocurrency last week.
Others cited a more generally mature environment around cryptocurrencies, which has seen Bitcoin more than double in price since March.
The latest movements mean that Bitcoin has recouped more than half of the gains it lost last year, when it lost some three-quarters of its value.
Those losses followed a huge rise over the course of 2017 that saw it jump from under $1,000 to nearly $20,000 by the end of the year.
Bitcoin is now trading at its highest price since March 2018.
eToro analyst Matt Greenspan said the latest rises were partly due to growing optimism by retail investors that Facebook’s Libra currency was part of a broader trend toward mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies.
Facebook launched Libra last week as a virtual asset that is to be independently managed by a consortium of firms including Visa, MasterCard and PayPal.
It is tied to international government-backed assets in order to ensure stability, and Facebook wants to use it to allow people to easily send currency or make payments without the need for a bank account.
But the plan must first hold up under close scrutiny by regulators and lawmakers.
Greenspan and other analysts said the cryptocurrency environment is also more mature now than it was two years ago.
In mid-May, Bitcoin rose above $7,000 following a massive theft of more than $40 million from cryptocurrency exchange Binance.
Analysts said at the time that Bitcoin’s perceived resilience in the face of the heist may have given the currency a boost.