Digital currency Bitcoin recorded a price higher than the value of gold for the first time, Financial Times reported on Friday. The cryptocurrency, which is an encrypted form of online money that can be traded, exchanged and used to make payments, was valued at $1,268 (approximately Rs 84,736) while an ounce of gold was trading at $1,233 (approximately Rs 82,397) on Thursday.
The digital currency’s value has been steadily increasing over the past 12 months. The rise in its value has been attributed to an increase in its demand in China, after Beijing imposed restrictions on gold imports.
An imminent decision by the US Securities and Exchange Commission on approving bitcoin-based exchange traded fund affected gold trading. Speculation over the United States Federal chief Janet Yellen’s upcoming announcement on an interest rate hike is expected to impact the price of gold further.
“Price is just a number, and overtaking one ounce of gold does not in itself mean much. More important is that bitcoin is making new highs. That signals both a growing appetite for alternative assets and also that cryptocurrency is finding new, perhaps unwary, buyers,” said Adrian Ash, head of research at Bullion Vault, CNBC reported.