Bitcoin hit a fresh record high of $62,822 on April 13, as bullish sentiments surrounding the cryptocurrency gathered steam ahead of the highly anticipated market listing of the cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase in the US.
At 15:55 (IST), the world's biggest digital currency was trading at $62,739, nearly 5 percent over the last 24-hours. It has surged nearly 115 percent year-to-date.
Rival coins, also called altcoins, that are known to follow bitcoin also surged on Tuesday. Ether was trading nearly 4 percent higher, whereas Dogecoin was nearly 8 percent up.
Coinbase is scheduled to list on Wednesday on Nasdaq and may value as much as $100 billion. Cryptocurrency advocates are hailing it as a major win after years of scepticism from institutional investors and regulators. But in the past year, the scenario has changed.
Bitcoin, including other cryptocurrencies, has become mainstream, with experts hailing it as an alternative for gold -- a safe haven and a hedge against inflation. It has also gained popularity as a mode of payment. Major firms including BNY Mellon, Visa, and Tesla Inc are among those to have embraced or invested in cryptocurrencies.
Bitcoin topped $60,000 early last month, fuelled by Tesla's move to buy $1.5 billion of the digital currency for its balance sheet. For the past two weeks, it had traded in a tight range.
"When bitcoin markets create new highs the price often range-trades and we witness a round of profit-taking," said James Butterfill of digital asset manager CoinShares. "During this most recent period have witnessed a similar profit-taking round, which now looks to have run its course."
The multi-fold rise in cryptocurrencies is also driven by investors seeking high-yielding assets amid low-interest rates. However, the meteoric rise of bitcoin, which traded at a few hundred dollars only five years earlier, has led major investment banks to warn of a speculative bubble.
Several fund managers surveyed by BofA and Deutsche Bank have said Bitcoin was in "bubble" territory and that they expect it to pull back sharply.
With inputs from Reuters