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Bitcoin experiences an end of year price surge

By Sam Edem

The value of the Bitcoin virtual currency hits a three-year high with a bitcoin now valued at about $900 (£730).

At the beginning of this 2016, its single coins were only worth about $435 but their worth have risen by a staggering over 100% across the year.

This steady rise in the value of the bitcoin has sustained in spite of regular attacks by hackers on the virtual currency’s exchanges in which coins have been stolen.

Experts claimed that the appreciation in bitcoins’ value was linked to the long-term depreciation of the Chinese Yuan.

The Chinese currency has plummeted by about 7% in value during the course of the year, a source claimed. Most of Bitcoin currency trading takes place in China as it provides the country’s residents and visitors ways round the restrictive local laws that limit how much money Chinese people can exchange.  Speaking on the bitcoin development, Charles Hayter, founder of the virtual currencies monitoring website, Cryptocompare said global political uncertainty and Indian moves to regulate paper currency also served as driving force for people buying Bitcoins.

He told a media source that If those trends continued, many more people may be inclined to buy Bitcoins as the virtual currency could be seen as a "flight to safety".

Hackers have also been attracted by the rising value of the virtual coins. Earlier in August this year, a Hong Kong-based digital currency exchange Bitfinex was victim of a major hack attack in which bitcoins worth $65m were believed to be stolen.  Bitcoin values dropped about 10% when the news of the hack attack was disclosed to the public

The company has yet to reach the heights it enjoyed in late 2013 when a bitcoin was worth more than $1,000. The aggregate value of all bitcoins in circulation has now exceeded $14bn. Quite an impressive boom for the virtual currency industry.

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