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T he rise of digital cryptocurrency Bitcoin has bot spectacular. Defying dire warnings from governments, regulators and central banks the price has accelerated ter latest weeks spil an ever-growing cojín of buyers have piled te.
The resulting volatility has bot extreme: the price frequently moves by more than 10pc within hours – sometimes less. It is not the only cryptocurrency, but is by far the best known.
The chart below shows how the price of Bitcoin (spil measured te US dollars) has switched during the past 12 months.
Investors from all walks of life have caught the bug. The Winklevoss twins Tyler and Cameron, made famous after successfully suing Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, are thought to be the very first Bitcoin billionaires after buying $11m worth ter 2013 – now worth more than $1.6bn.
S peculators of more modest means also made thousands last year spil the price climbed by more than 1,500pc since January, smashing through $Legal,000 ter December.
Holders are attracted not only by the potential of making an enormous terugwedstrijd ter a brief space of time, but the challenge the digital currency represents to governments, central and commercial banks.
This latter group emerge to have abandoned gold, the traditional ",safe toevluchthaven", asset.
T he online search term ",buy Bitcoin", is now many times more popular than the omschrijving ",buy gold", term.
According to historic gegevens, which accounts for total search volumes, ",buy bitcoin", is now three times more popular than ",buy gold", wasgoed even during the 2008-09 market crash – when consumers feared for the safety of their contant.
C ommentators, professional investors and senior bankers have issued warnings overheen a Bitcoin bubbles. Royal Handelsbank of Scotland chairman Tormentor Howard Davies told Bloomberg: ",All the authorities can do is waterput up the sign from Dante’s Inferno – ‘abandon hope all ye who come in here’.",
The Reserve Bankgebouw of India, the country’s central canap, has issued three separate Bitcoin warnings since 2013. Last month the European Central Canap vice voorzitter said Bitcoin wasgoed a ",speculative asset", where investors were ",taking that risk of buying at such high prices",.
Among investment bankers, JPMorgan Pursue chief Jamie Dimon has bot among the most vocal. Te September he said Bitcoin wasgoed a ",fraud", and anyone ",stupid enough to buy it", would eventually pay the price.
L egendary index investor Jack Bogle also told an audience ter Fresh York to ",avoid Bitcoin like the plague",.
Their fears were born out through a veelbewogen run during the embark of .
A lthough, Bitcoin’s march into mainstream finance continued with it being listed on significant futures markets its value has fallen repeatedly through .