Bitcoin value crosses $10,000 to reach its highest level since October 2019

The cryptocurrency rose as much as 2.6% to $10,179, capping a gain of about 40% so far this year

(FILES) In this file photo taken on June 17, 2014 in Washington, DC shows bitcoin medals.  US authorities arrested three men in an alleged fraud that raised $722 million from investors lured by fake bitcoin mining earnings, the Justice Department announced on December 10, 2019. Prosecutors described the scam as a "high-tech Ponzi scheme" run by the "BitClub Network," which took money from investors and rewarded them for recruiting new shareholders. / AFP / KAREN BLEIER / TO GO WITH AFP STORY  - "Florida city agrees to pay $600,000 ransom to hackers"
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Bitcoin is back above $10,000.

The largest cryptocurrency’s recent upward momentum carried it past that psychologically significant level on Sunday for the first time since October, according to Bitstamp pricing. It rose as much as 2.6 per cent to $10,179 (Dh37,357), capping a gain of about 40 per cent so far this year.

Its breach of five figures comes amid an equities rally that’s seen the S&P 500 Index reach new highs as fears abate that the coronavirus will dent global growth.

“The rally is a part of a broader appeal for risky assets as optimism grows that the coronavirus impact might be limited to the first quarter and on optimism that China will play nice with the US on phase-two trade talks,” said Ed Moya, senior market analyst at Oanda.

Cryptocurrencies have been on an upward trend all year, with some analysts and digital-asset enthusiasts suggesting they’ve benefited as safe-haven plays amid ongoing geopolitical concerns around the globe.

“There’s certainly a narrative in the investment community that Bitcoin is solidifying its place as a store of value, a flight to safety, inflation hedge,” Michael Sonnenshein, managing director at Grayscale Investments, said in an interview at Bloomberg’s New York headquarters. If history is any guide, the upcoming halving, which is set to happen in May, could also have an impact on the token’s price, he said.

Some Bitcoin enthusiasts are predicting further gains. Fundstrat Global Advisors’ Rob Sluymer, for one, sees it rising through the second quarter this year to trade in a range of $10,000 to $11,000. Mike McGlone, an analyst with Bloomberg Intelligence, says the 2020 outlook for the largest digital token remains favorable. “Similar to gold, positive fundamentals should extend Bitcoin’s price appreciation,” he wrote in a February 5 note.

Bitcoin peaked at almost $20,000 in December 2017 and finished that year up about 1,400 per cent as the cryptocurrency burst into the mainstream. It plunged 74 per cent the next year, before rebounding almost 100 per cent in 2019.