Bitcoin value soars past $18,000 as it climbs towards all-time high

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The cryptocurrency has been gaining steam as the dollar weakens

Bitcoin’s market value has surpassed $18,000 for the first time since December 2017, pushing it closer to hitting another all-time high.  

Three years ago, the cryptocurrency hit its first record high of almost $20,000 before falling to as low as $3,122 in 2018. On Wednesday morning, CoinDesk data showed that its price slightly exceeded $18,000. 

Experts say the volatile digital currency has rallied lately for a variety of reasons. Bitcoin has benefited from a weaker dollar and from being viewed as a more solid alternative to government-backed paper currency. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to increased interest in Bitcoin from investors such as Paul Tudor Jones and Steven Druckenmiller. PalPal also announced that it will allow customers to buy and sell bitcoins on its platform, giving the cryptocurrency additional momentum.  

"This bull run is different than 2017. We're seeing adoption from major players," Alex Adelman, CEO and co-founder of Lolli, a Bitcoin rewards company, told CNN Business. "They're all betting big on bitcoin as a safeguard against inflation, uncertainty, and the turmoils of 2020."

Simon Peters, an analyst at investment platform eToro, told Reuters that Bitcoin and the cryptocurrency market as a whole has gained new acceptance during the pandemic. 

“The crypto industry has consolidated, matured and is seeing real traction with institutional investors. Investors are using bitcoin as an inflationary hedge to combat the prospect of continued government stimulus,” Peters said.

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