NEW YORK – The digital currency Bitcoin reached on Sunday a new record price of over $9,500 according to the bitcoin news service newsbtc.com, thanks to the Thanksgiving holidays and the Black Friday shopping spree.
Bitcoin rose more than 8 percent to a record high of $9,533.61, according to CoinDesk; and another digital currency, the Ethereum, also achieved $485 for the first time, according to CoinMarketCap.
This marks the first time that Bitcoin exceeds the $9,000 mark, representing about $151 billion of the total cryptocurrencies’ market capitalization, which is valued at $285 billion.
Bitcoin, the most popular virtual currency, closed 2016 below $1,000 and has soared in value over the past few weeks: by mid-October it stood at just over $5,000.
Investment firm BKCM’s CEO Brian Kelly told CNBC that the latest boom in digital currencies appears to be driven by retail sales in recent days and the season of family reunions.
“Anecdotally, everyone I have talked to in the cryptocurrency community has said that Thanksgiving table discussion was all about bitcoin, and that inspired many family members to buy bitcoin,” he said.
Coinbase, a bitcoin digital platform, registered 100,000 new accounts between Wednesday and Friday to a total of up to 13.1 million, according to data collected by Altana Digital Currency Fund.
The Mercantile Exchange of Chicago (CME) is also planning to list bitcoin futures in mid-December, as announced earlier in November by CME’s CEO and president Terry Duffy.