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Bitcoin price surpasses $5,000 for first time

Bitcoin price surpasses $5,000 for first time
The price of Bitcoin surpassed $5,000 for the first time, reaching a historic new high for the cryptocurrency, before quickly dipping back below the record-breaking mark.

Bitcoin hit a high of $5,013.91, according to the CoinDesk index, on Friday and stayed above the mark for 10 minutes of trading, before falling back to a low of $4,867.19.

The cryptocurrency reportedly reached its highest market price of $5,149 thanks to Chinese bitcoin exchange OkCoin.

Bitcoin’s surge in popularity is largely down to a growing interest in cryptocurrencies, improved technologies, and sustained inflow from investors, Forbes says.

The new record comes amid news that six big banks have joined a project developing a new settlement currency based on blockchain technology – the world’s leading software technology used by bitcoin, ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies.

READ MORE: World’s major banks working on blockchain-based settlement currency

Barclays, Credit Suisse, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, HSBC, MUFG, and State Street joined UBS, BNY Mellon, Deutsche Bank, Santander, NEX, and blockchain startup Clearmatics in the project to create a “utility settlement coin.

Originally started by UBS, the new currency could pioneer how central banks chose issue cryptocurrencies.

We see it as a stepping stone to a future where central banks issue their own [cryptocurrency] at some point," UBS director Hyder Jaffrey told CoinDesk.