Bitcoin passes $5,000 to hit fresh all-time high

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LONDON — Bitcoin has hit a fresh all-time high on Thursday, passing above the $5,000 mark for the first time in its history in early morning European trade.

By 9.20 a.m. BST (4.20 a.m. ET) the cryptocurrency is trading up by close to 6.5% on the day, hitting a value of $5,136, as the chart below illustrates:

Bitcoin october 12 1

Bitcoin has seen its value increase by more than $750 per coin in the last week alone, with a rally that coincides with& renewed interest in the currency from investment banks. The Wall Street Journal last week reported that& Goldman Sachs is looking at setting up a bitcoin trading operation& and Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman said recently that the& cryptocurrency is "certainly more than just a fad."

The cryptocurrency's massive boom has its detractors however, with& Michael Novogratz, a former manager at the $72 billion investor Fortress, calling it "one of the great manias of all time" in an interview on CNBC earlier this week.

"It would not surprise me if, in the next six to 10 months, we're over $10,000," Novogratz told& CNBC& on Tuesday.

Also this week, a team of analysts led by Gautam Chhugani and Gaurav Jangale from research house Bernstein said that bitcoin is still just a "censorship-resistant asset class," out of the reach of state control and yet to form a part of the system of settlement and credit that defines money.

"Fiat money is still the final form of settlement &- governments still collect taxes in fiat money and salaries are still paid in fiat money," the team said in a note to clients on Wednesday.

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