Bitcoin. Picture: REUTERS/BENOIT TESSIER
Bitcoin. Picture: REUTERS/BENOIT TESSIER

Hong Kong — Bitcoin’s rebound continued on Tuesday, as the largest crypto-currency climbed past $8,000 for the first time in two months, leading a revival among digital currencies that have been under pressure for much of the year.

Bitcoin jumped as much as 4.1% to as high as $8,016.62 during Hong Kong trading hours, the highest since May, according to composite Bloomberg pricing. Rival tokens ether, litecoin and ripple also rallied, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

With the latest gains, the total value of crypto-currencies worldwide is again approaching $300bn, according to data from Coinmarketcap.com.

Bitcoin still remains almost 60% down its peak of almost $20,000 in December. "We’ve been in depressed levels for the past six months, so it’s really one way from here, which is up," said Timothy Tam, CEO with CoinFi, a crypto-currency data analysis company, in a phone interview from Hong Kong. "The timing is always difficult to predict but I think we’re at the start of a secular bull market."

BlackRock plans

The fortunes of bitcoin and other digital currencies have turned in July after a report that BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, has formed a team to study ways to take advantage of the market and its underlying blockchain technology. Bitcoin has surged almost 30% since that news was first disclosed.

There’s also renewed optimism after bitmain, the crypto-currency mining rig maker, completed another funding round, Tam said. The company was reported by Caixin to have raised $300m to $400m at a valuation of about $12bn.

The crypto-currency space has otherwise struggled this year, as the industry grapples with increased regulatory scrutiny around the world as well as security concerns, with hacks a persistent problem for exchanges. Thieves made off with almost $500m worth of tokens from Japanese exchange Coincheck in January, while most recently two Korean crypto-bourses suffered cyber-attacks in June.

Bloomberg