Bitcoin skyrockets above $7,000 for first time ever

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FILE PHOTO - A Bitcoin (virtual currency) coin is seen in an illustration picture taken at La Maison du Bitcoin in Paris, France, June 23, 2017. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier/Illustration

LONDON (Reuters) – Digital currency bitcoin rocketed above $7,000 for the first time ever on Thursday, after a more than sevenfold increase in its value since the start of the year.

Bitcoin has seen eye-watering gains in recent months and has more than doubled in value in the past seven weeks alone BTC=BTSP. It hit as high as $7,066.44 on the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp exchange on Thursday.

The latest rally was driven by news earlier this week that the world’s largest derivatives exchange operator CME Group (CME.O) is to launch bitcoin futures.

The price move takes bitcoin’s aggregate value, or “market cap” — its price multiplied by the number of bitcoins released into circulation — to more than $117 billion, according to industry website Coinmarketcap.

The aggregate value of all cryptocurrencies is now at a record high of over $190 billion, the website said.

Reporting by Jemima Kelly, Editing by Abhinav Ramnarayan

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Godwin Okafor is a Financial Journalist, Internet Social Entrepreneur and Founder of Naija247news Media Limited. He has over 16 years experience in financial journalism. His experience cuts across traditional and digital media. He started his journalism career at Business Day, Nigeria and founded Naija247news Media in 2010. Godwin holds a Bachelors degree in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from the Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos. He is an alumni of Lagos Business School and a Fellow of the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton Seminar for Business Journalists). Over the years, he has won a number of journalism awards. Godwin is the chairman of Emmerich Resources Limited, the publisher of Naija247news.

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