Cryptocurrency Bitcoin Skyrockets to a New All-Time High

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The famous cryptocurrency Bitcoin skyrocketed to a new all-time high on Thursday, rising to over $4,680 for the first time in its history.

The cryptocurrency hit $4,687.1 on the Bitfinex exchange after opening at $4,567.9 and eventually settled at $4,677.1 by mid-morning.

Bitcoin has more than quadrupled its value this year and now has a market cap of $76 billion.

Bitcoin Cash, a new cryptocurrency, was also higher on Thursday, reaching a high of $608.50 after opening at $579.40. The bitcoin offshoot hit an all-time high on August 19 when it reached $935.50.

At its current level, Bitcoin Cash has a market cap of $9.8 billion, putting it in third place among the most valuable digital currencies.

Ethereum, the second-biggest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, fell 0.2% to trade at $385.19. Despite its decline, the digital currency has been a stronger performer than Bitcoin this year. Ethereum has gained more than 4,600% in 2017. In 2016, it closed the year at around $8.

Digital currencies now have a combined market cap of more than $170 billion. That means the asset class as a whole has grown by over $20 billion in the last week. The class broke the $100 billion earlier in June and topped $150 billion on August 23.

In other forex trading news, the U.S. dollar was holding steady against other major currencies, as investors await new economic data later in the day. Strong employment and economic growth data on Wednesday pushed the currency higher after slumping earlier in the week.

The dollar was boosted after economic growth for the second quarter was revised higher than expected. A separate report showed that the private sector added more jobs than expected last month.

Personal spending and jobless claims data will be released later today.

The greenback was higher against the yen, up 0.24% to trade at 110.51. The dollar held steady against the Swiss franc, at 0.9559.

Geopolitical tensions sent investors fleeing to safe havens, but tensions eased after U.S. President Donald Trump gave a moderate response to North Korea’s missile test. Trump still cautioned that “all options are on the table.”

The eased tension has reduced demand for safe havens, boosting the dollar.

Still, the greenback was lower against the euro. EUR/USD was up 0.14% to 1.1901. The currency was supported by new data that showed consumer price inflation in the euro zone was higher than expected in August.

The pound eased against the dollar, falling 0.28% to 1.2888. Investors are awaiting the third round of Brexit negotiations between the EU and the UK, which is expected to wrap up on Thursday. UK Prime Minister Theresa May is in Japan this week to discuss the country’s post-Brexit relationship.

Both the Aussie and the New Zealand dollar were weaker against their U.S. counterpart. AUD/USD was down 0.13% to 0.7892, while NZD/USD fell 0.62% to 0.7157.

The Australian dollar was weaker despite an upbeat report from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, which showed that private spending increased by 0.8% in the second quarter. The figure beat expectations.

Sentiment on the New Zealand dollar waned after a reading from the ANZ Business Confidence Index showed a decline from 19.4 to 18.3 in July.

Melissa Thompson writes about a wide range of topics, always revealing interesting things we didn’t know before. She is a freelance producer for USA Today, and a contributor at Technorati. She lives in Utah with her 2 kids and husband. Melissa Thompson can be reached via LinkedIn or Twitter @melthompson88. Please follow and friend her on either site.