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Bitcoin has continued its meteoric rise, soaring above $30,000 for the first time less than three weeks after smashing through the $20,000 mark. 

The digital currency hit the mainstream in October when Paypal started allowing customers to use it to pay for online shopping. 

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Bitcoin is seen by some as a safe way of storing money, since there are a limited number of the online ‘coins’ which can ever exist. Investors believe this should maintain demand, and prevent big falls in value. 

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This contrasts with other traditional currencies, as central banks have printed more money during the pandemic to sustain economic activity. 

Some economists fear a spike in inflation as the larger amount of cash devalues the currency. 

Bitcoin’s value shot up by 305 per cent last year, and in the first three days of 2021 it has jumped another 17 per cent. Yesterday it was trading at $33,930. 

But some fear an unsustainable ‘bubble’ as bitcoin is not backed by assets of intrinsic value. 

Dennis Dick, of US firm Bright Trading, said: ‘You really just have digits on a screen. It’s a purely speculative view.’