The price of bitcoin rebounded sharply this week, climbing back above $600 for the first time since August 1 as improved investor confidence and technical trading brought more buyers to the market.
The BTC/USD closed at $621.80 on Friday, capping off a weekly gain of 8.3%, according to CoinDesk. The BTC/USD advanced 0.2% on Saturday, reaching $623.19 as of 3:00 pm ET. At its current price, bitcoin’s market capitalization is approximately $15.9 billion.
Bitcoin reached a fresh high near $629 on Thursday, where it faced a major resistance near the 100-day moving average. Both the short-term and long-term outlook are bullish, as investors increase their long positions after five weeks of lateral moves following a high profile data breach at Hong Kong-based crytocurrency exchange Bitfinex. According to data provider Bitcoinity, the digital currency’s transactions totaled 7.82 million in the seven days through September 8.
Despite its recent volatility, bitcoin has experienced greater stability this year, a sign that the digital currency market is maturing. More than 100,000 merchants accept bitcoin as a form of payment, leading to a growing ecosystem that now features credit cards and debit cards.
Bitcoin’s appeal has grown despite widespread criticism of its use by governments, market participants and even Nobel laureate economists. The Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stiglitz recently criticized bitcoin at a public event at the London School of Economics.
“My own view is bitcoins have been greatly exaggerated. A common medium of exchange or a store of value is a basic public function and needs to be regulated,” Stiglitz said in response to a question.
Stiglitz joins a growing list of economists who have criticized bitcoin. Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman has lashed out against the digital currency on numerous occasions. International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief economist Kenneth Rogoff has also stated that the US government should eventually ban the use of bitcoin.
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