Price of bitcoin hits all-time high above $1700

At the beginning of January 2017, we witnessed a scenario similar to that of November 2013, when bitcoin first surpassed the $1,000 mark and its rally was subsequently halted by Chinese authorities, followed by a steep price decline in the months to follow.

Bitcoin has been volatile in recent weeks, plunging as low as $789 on January 11, as Chinese authorities tightened their monitoring and regulation of the country's bitcoin exchanges.

That put the total value of all bitcoins in circulation - or the digital currency's "market cap", as it is known - at close to $20 billion, around the same size as Iceland's economy.

Bitcoin rose to an all-time high as investors looked to hedge against potential global uncertainty related to policies of President Donald Trump and speculated that his administration will relax regulations governing the digital currency.

The U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission is set to rule on the proposed Bitcoin ETF on March 11. For the next two weeks, prices are likely to keep rising unless the SEC comes out with a decision that bitcoin's boosters don't like. "This would bring a certain amount of stability eventually but could see short-term exuberance by retail traders", he said.

Over the past year, bitcoin's biggest daily moves have been about 10 per cent - very volatile compared with traditional currencies, but far lower than the daily swings of up to 40 per cent seen in 2013.

Bitcoin climbed 125 percent in 2016, outperforming every other currency, as it did every year since 2010 bar 2014.