Bitcoin breaks $50,000 for first time since 2021

13 Feb 2024

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Published on 10:34 AM, February 13, 2024

Bitcoin breaks $50,000 for first time since 2021

A representation of virtual currency Bitcoin is seen in front of a stock graph in this illustration taken January 8, 2021. Photo: Reuters
AFP, Hong Kong, China
Bitcoin spiked above $50,000 Tuesday for the first time in more than two years as investors grow optimistic that US approval of broader trading in the unit will ramp up demand.
The cryptocurrency has enjoyed a strong run in recent months, fuelled by expectations US lawmakers would allow the creation of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that track the price and let the public invest in crypto without directly purchasing it.
After initially dropping in reaction to last month's green light by Washington, bitcoin has rallied about 25 percent since January 22.

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That advance saw it hit as much as $50,328, according to Bloomberg data, its highest level since late 2021.
And observers were optimistic about the outlook.
"Enthusiast buyers bring in more enthusiast buyers pushing prices further up," Fadi Aboualfa, of Copper Technologies, said.
"The cryptocurrency has momentum on the back of several green weeks and has a large chance of going up further when markets see weekly movements upwards of 10 percent (as we saw last week)."
By 0330 GMT Tuesday, bitcoin had dropped slightly, to $49,950.
The currency remains well below its record value of almost $69,000 in 2020, but the rally marks a recovery following a series of high-profile scandals and collapses that rocked the crypto industry.
FTX, the world's second-biggest crypto exchange, dramatically went under last year, and its boss Sam Bankman-Fried faces up to 110 years in prison for what prosecutors described as "one of the biggest financial frauds in American history".
And in November, Changpeng "CZ" Zhao stepped down as CEO of Binance -- the world's biggest crypto exchange -- after he and the company pleaded guilty to sweeping money laundering violations.
Bitcoin has also been boosted by hopes that the US Federal Reserve will start to cut interest rates this year as inflation eases.
The asset's value has been driven by the supply crunch expected next year because of an event called "halving".
Bitcoin is created -- or "mined" -- as a reward when powerful computers solve complex problems.
But the amount of bitcoin is limited and every four years, the reward is halved. The next "halving" is due in May.
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Published on 02:16 PM, February 13, 2024

Indian police fire tear gas as protesting farmers march to capital

A man walks past barricades infront of vehicles stuck in heavy traffic at the New Delhi-Gurgaon Sirhaul expressway during a nationwide strike called by farmers on February 13, 2024. Photo: AFP
AFP, New Delhi, India
Indian security forces fired tear gas Tuesday to stop thousands of farmers demanding minimum crop prices from marching on the capital New Delhi after talks with the government failed.
Local broadcasters showed thick clouds of tear gas fired to disperse protesters near Ambala, some 200 kilometres (125 miles) north of the capital.

Police have set up a fearsome blockade of metal spikes, cement, and steel barricades on the highways from three surrounding states leading to the capital.
"Maximum numbers have been deployed", Ranjay Atrishya, assistant commissioner of Delhi Police, told AFP.
Public gatherings of more than five people have been banned in the capital.
Farmers in India have political heft due to their sheer numbers, and the threat of renewed protests comes ahead of national elections likely to begin in April.
Two-thirds of India's 1.4 billion people draw their livelihood from agriculture, accounting for nearly a fifth of the country's GDP, according to government figures.
Indian broadcasters showed columns of hundreds of tractors moving towards the capital from the surrounding states of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.
The farmers are demanding a law to fix a minimum price for their crops, besides a clutch of other concessions including waiving off loans.
Farmers have called for a "Delhi Chalo", or "March to Delhi", echoing protests in January 2021 when farmers breached barricades and marched into the city on Republic Day.
Protests by farmers against agricultural reform bills in November 2020 lasted for more than a year, forming the biggest challenge to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government since it came to power in 2014.
Tens of thousands of farmers then set up makeshift camps, with at least 700 people killed during the protests.
In November 2021, a year after protests began, Modi pushed through parliament the repeal of three contentious laws that farmers claimed would let private companies control the country's agriculture sector.
Thousands of Indian farmers die by suicide every year because of poverty, debt and crops affected by ever more erratic weather patterns caused by climate change.

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