Bitcoin on Friday rose to a nearly three-year high, as investors continued to scoop the virtual currency on hopes it could well exceed its all-time peak of just under USD 20,000. The crypto-currency surged to as much as USD 18,766.79, its highest since December 2017, after gaining 17 percent this week and more than 160 percent so far. Enthusiasts of digital currency continued to bet on it over expectations that it could soon exceed its all-time peak of just under USD 20,000.

“Today bitcoin has gotten to a place where institutional investors, banks, and family offices are legitimately evaluating involvement as a defence against currency devaluation,” said Alex Mashinsky, chief executive officer at Celsius Network, a crypto lending platform.

However, the fascination with bitcoin has worn out among small investors and the media. Now that bitcoin market has a functioning derivatives market and custody services by established financial institutions, large investors are considering the form of investment. Large conglomerates like Fidelity Investments and Japan’s Nomura Holdings Inc have started safeguarding bitcoins and other crypto-currencies for institutional investors.

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