A representation of virtual currency Bitcoin is seen in this illustration. PHOTO: REUTERS

For the first time in nearly three years, Bitcoin hit $19,000 on Tuesday – homing in on its all-time high of just under $20,000.

The most popular cryptocurrency was last up 3.2% at $18,958. Bitcoin has gained nearly 40% in November alone and is up around 160% this year.

Fuelling its gains have been demand for risk-on assets amid unprecedented fiscal and monetary stimulus, hunger for assets perceived as resistant to inflation, and expectations that cryptocurrencies would win mainstream acceptance.