The price of bitcoin is closing in on its 2019 high, after shooting up by $500 (£400) in less than 10 minutes.
The latest surge in value on Monday follows several months of significant gains for the world’s biggest cryptocurrency, which have seen its price more than treble since the start of the year.
Its current price of $11,800 (£9,400) remains a long way off its all-time high of close to $20,000 (£16,000) that it reached in late 2017, but some analysts believe the record is in sight.
The notoriously volatile digital currency has been boosted in recent weeks by news that Facebook plans to launch its own cryptocurrency.
Interest from the tech giant should push forward much-needed regulation in the space, which should add legitimacy to bitcoin and the exchanges it is traded on.
Cryptocurrency experts have noted some key differences between the remarkable surge of 2017 and the price rally in 2019.
“Bitcoin has reacted much differently in its revival phase this year, after waking up from the crypto freeze of 2018,” Christel Quek, chief commercial officer of blockchain firm Bolt said.
“While bitcoin increased by a staggering 215 per cent so far this year, its revival and growth has been quite mature and logical in comparison to 2017.”
Market analysts have described the dramatic price gains of 2017, which saw bitcoin rise from around $1,000 (£800) to close to $20,000 over the course of 11 months, as having the characteristics of a bubble.
This was fuelled by investors seeking to make a quick profit from the market frenzy.
“In contrast, 2019 has seen a more mature movement, while the revival has also been a natural reaction to a changing crypto-friendly atmosphere in mainstream finance,” Ms Quek said.
“For instance, Facebook and JP Morgan’s entry into the space was a major endorsement to the idea of digital currencies.”
Ms Quek predicts that bitcoin’s current momentum will continue, at least in the short term, with the 2017 record the next major milestone to pass.