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Bitcoin tops $20,000 milestone and continues to surge to record highs

Bitcoin has blown past the $20,000 mark and continues to hit record highs as investors flock to the cryptocurrency during the coronavirus pandemic.
After topping the symbolic benchmark Wednesday, bitcoin continued to surge. Prices topped $23,000 Thursday morning.
Bitcoin (XBT) has been on a tear this year, having tripled in value. It and other cryptocurrencies have been attractive to investors as the US dollar has weakened.
"It's not a surprise to us that Bitcoin has hit $20K but it is a very symbolic threshold to reach at the end of what has been a historic year for bitcoin," said Michael Sonnenshein, managing director of Grayscale Investments. "These are just the early days, and we think there's a lot more runway to go."
With the Federal Reserve expected to leave interest rates near zero for several more years, bitcoin may continue to win new fans.
Well-known names are adding to bitcoin's mainstream appeal. A top executive at BlackRock (BLK) has even said the cryptocurrency can replace gold, and payments giants Square (SQ) and PayPal (PYPL) have both embraced bitcoin.
"Volumes last week were 70% above the year daily average ... suggesting greater participation in this rally than has historically been the case," said James Butterfill, investment strategist at CoinShares. "It is worth taking note that investors are beginning to see bitcoin as a viable gold alternative."
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