NewsBitcoin near two-week highs, fueled by hopes for Facebook's...

Bitcoin near two-week highs, fueled by hopes for Facebook’s Libra

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LONDON (Reuters) – Bitcoin held on Tuesday near its highest for two weeks after surging as much as 9% overnight, a move analysts said was probably driven by hopes that cryptocurrencies are gaining wider acceptance after Facebook disclosed plans for a digital coin.

Bitcoin touched $12,833 overnight on the Bitstamp exchange BTC=BTSP, its highest since June 27, before pulling back. It was last up 2.2% at $12,560.

The biggest cryptocurrency has gained over 45% since Facebook laid out plans last month for its Libra coin, sparking renewed optimism that cryptocurrencies will gain mainstream acceptance among companies and individual users.

β€œWhat we have seen in bitcoin over the last couple of weeks is still very linked to Libra,” said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at OANDA. β€œPeople allude to the idea that bitcoin is a more mature industry than previously.”

Bitcoin remains highly volatile. It has gained nearly 240% this year after slumping by three-quarters last year.

Analysts pointed to other data points that suggested usage of bitcoin is growing. Peer-to-peer exchange of bitcoin – a proxy for non-speculative usage – is at its highest for nearly eight months, said Mati Greenspan of eToro.

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