LONDON: The price of bitcoin surged 8 percent to $750 on Thursday, its highest since early 2014, as jittery investors sought shelter in the web-based currency, once considered too volatile to invest in, let alone at times of market stress.
Worries that Britain will vote next week to leave the European Union, as well as concerns over global growth, have pushed down stocks and oil prices, while low-risk assets such as gold and top-rated government debt have risen.
Along with those conventional safe havens, investors have also turned to bitcoin.
The “cryptocurrency”, which can move money across the globe quickly and anonymously with no need for a central authority, has climbed almost 70 percent over the past four weeks on the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp exchange. Gold, by comparison, has rallied almost 5 percent during the same period.
Daniel Masters, a former commodities trader who runs Jersey-based bitcoin hedge fund Global Advisors, said he had started to see commodity trading advisors put bitcoin into their portfolios “over the past month or two”.
“Bitcoin is a global, frictionless, instantaneous form of currency, and it has a fixed supply.