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Bitcoin breaks above $ 16,000 for the primary time since January 2018

A visual representation of Bitcoin with US dollars.

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Bitcoin briefly climbed above the $ 16,000 mark on Thursday, reaching a level that has not been seen since early January 2018.

The price of the cryptocurrency rose to $ 16,019 shortly after 5 a.m., according to industry site CoinDesk. It was last traded at around $ 15,887, up more than 1% in the past 24 hours.

According to CoinDesk data, the last time Bitcoin crossed the $ 16,000 level was January 8, 2018. The reason for the surge on Thursday wasn't immediately clear, although some experts have suggested a link to the US presidential election result .

"The US elections helped push BTC above the 14K resistance. Both sides want more momentum positive for stocks that BTC has been closely correlated with throughout the year," said Nicholas Pelecanos, trading director at crypto firm NEM , across from CNBC.

"With a Republican Senate and a Democratic president, the incentives may be slow to come, forcing the Federal Reserve System to implement a more aggressive quantitative easing (QE) program to keep the economy going."

Bitcoin, the most famous and valuable cryptocurrency in the world, has more than doubled this year. This is a wild run reminiscent of the Monster rally in late 2017, which broke the $ 20,000 mark.

Some crypto fans say this is due to the unprecedented wave of incentives from governments and central banks around the world aimed at dealing with the coronavirus crisis. Such measures devalue the fiat currencies and make Bitcoin an attractive alternative.

The PayPal effect

It's also coming as a number of companies seem to be warming up to crypto.

Last month, fintech giant PayPal announced it was adding new features that would allow users to trade Bitcoin, Ether, Bitcoin cash, and Litecoin. The company also plans to enable customers to use crypto to shop with its network of 26 million retailers by early 2021.

Meanwhile, Square said last month that it bought $ 50 million worth of Bitcoin. The US fintech company, led by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, has long been offering crypto services to users of its popular cash app.

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