Bitcoin investors, which include top hedge funds and money managers, are betting the virtual currency could more than quintuple to $100,000 (about R1.5m) in a year. It's a wager that has drawn eye-rolls from sceptics who believe the volatile cryptocurrency is a speculative asset rather than a store of value like gold.

Since January, bitcoin has gained about 140%, bolstered by strong institutional demand as well as scarcity as payment companies such as Square and PayPal buy it on behalf of customers. Bitcoin is within sight of its all-time peak of just under $20,000 hit in December 2017, although it slumped as much as 13% on Thursday...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as articles from our international business news partners; ProfileData financial data; and digital access to the Sunday Times and Sunday Times Daily.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now