Bitcoin smashed through $20,000 for the first time on Wednesday, its highest ever.
The cryptocurrency jumped 4.5% to move as high as $20,440.
Bitcoin has gained more than 170% this year, buoyed by demand from larger investors attracted to its potential for quick gains, purported inflation-resistant qualities, and expectations it will become a mainstream payment method.
Smaller coins Ethereum and XRP, which often move in tandem with bitcoin, gained 5.4% and 8.1%, respectively.
Like other instruments used to store value in times of uncertainty, bitcoin has benefited from the pandemic that has pushed other commodities like gold, silver, platinum to multiyear highs.
After touching a record high just under $20,000 in late November, bitcoin stalled and even went below $17,000, stoking fears that it would be a repeat of the asset’s collapse in 2018.