Economy

Bitcoin trades above $5000 for first time ever

The alternative currency spiked more than 6% on Thursday, surging above the $5,000 barrier.

Unlike a real-world unit such as the United States dollar or euro, bitcoin has no central bank and is not backed by any government. As Bloomberg noted on Twitter, the cryptocurrency's price was at an all-time-high Thursday morning. The digital currency has soared 750% in the past year, and is now worth four times as much as an ounce of gold.

This week, Russian Federation has announced the regulation of digital currencies, as President Vladimir Putin said the instrument has significant financial risks. A spokeswoman for the investment bank confirmed that there was client interest in the project, but reiterated that the initiative was still in its early stages. Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein, however, says that no final decision has been made.

Bitcoin plummeted below $3,000 in mid-September after Chinese authorities announced a crackdown on the digital currency. Meanwhile, Citi's CFO said his bank is taking an "intense" look at cryptocurrencies and blockchain.

The validation of even one Wall Street institution would "change bitcoin" by bringing in lots of big money.

But the price has been volatile.



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