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Bitcoin poised at 3-year peak, nearing record high

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Bitcoin has reached a new record high price of $1,186, surpassing the previous all-time high reached during the Bitcoin-mania of 2013.

Bitcoin is at all-time high, with its value hitting $1,197.96 per coin on Friday and with over $18 billion of the digital currency in circulation.

On January 1, 2017, the price of bitcoin surpassed the $1,000 mark for the first time in three years, peaking at $1,153.86 on January 5.

Despite the similarity in price movements to November 2013, bitcoin is now showing signs of becoming a more mature asset class.

After bottoming out near $750 a coin, the cryptocurrency rallied despite news that China's largest exchanges would begin charging a flat fee of 0.2% on all transactions and that two of China's largest bitcoin exchanges were blocking withdrawals. This is largely due to discrepancies on pricing data provided by various exchanges. Prices across exchanges, and across currencies, are rarely uniform, he said.

Bitcoin came within $3 of its all-time high on Thursday as expectations mounted that the Securities and Exchange Commission could soon authorize the creation of the first bitcoin exchange-traded fund. If approved, this would be the first bitcoin ETF regulated in the US.

The SEC has a deadline of 11 March to rule on whether an ETF created by twins Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss - Facebook investors made famous by the film, The Social Network - will gain regulatory approval.

"Perhaps key would be the institutional money which would flow into bitcoin".

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