At the end of this week Bitcoin reached a value of $1,268 per unit, beating the price of an ounce of gold which, when the market closed on Thursday, stood at $1,233 per ounce.
Bitcoin has been steadily increasing in price since it stabilised in 2015, with many at this point doubted that the currency would ever again reach or surpass the 2013 high price of $1,165.
Following the rush in 2013, the price of Bitcoin was slashed dramatically when Mt. Gox, a major Bitcoin exchange shut down when hundreds of thousands of Bitcoin were lost, and users were left out of pocket.
A Chinese effort to tackle Bitcoin trading was initiated at the beginning of the year, amid concerns that Bitcoin is being used to conceal money being extracted from the country illegally. The recent surge in Chinese demand for the crypto-currency has been linked to the increasing price.
Bitcoin also has risen in popularity due to political factors such as the election of President Donald Trump and Brexit, which brought about market uncertainty and led investors to move money into bitcoin. This action would be appealing in light of political developments, as Bitcoin lacks government control, and it provides anonymity.
Anonymity is maintained using Bitcoin because the process of receiving the currency involves an address made up of a sequence of number and letters between 27-34 digits and characters in length. There is no database to keep track of the codes, so there is no record of the destination of the transaction.