Bitcoin's furious run is starting to look more and more like it did at the height of crypto-mania two years ago.
The virtual currency surged as much as 14% on Wednesday, topping $12,900 for the first time since January 2018, and bringing its gain since early April to more than 200%. Its relative strength index, a gauge of momentum, is now within a hair's breadth of the level when the cryptocurrency peaked around $19,500 in 2017.
Cryptocurrencies have been gaining acceptance and attracting more interest from mainstream institutions, with JPMorgan Chase & Co. seeing client interest in a coin for bond transactions and Facebook Inc. making plans for a cryptocurrency called Libra, among other forays into the space.
A break above the $12,720 level "will allow for a complete retracement of the 2018 bear market," according to Macro Risk Advisors founder Dean Curnutt, though he noted in comments Tuesday that the rally was "turning more and more impulsive."
The last time Bitcoin rose above $12,000 was in December 2017. It rallied further, eventually reaching as high as $19,511 later in the month, but the surge was followed by a precipitous fall that saw it drop below $6,000 by February. All in all, in December 2017 and January 2018, Bitcoin spent about six weeks above $12,000.
The cryptocurrency was up 11%, trading at $12,601.22 as of 3:35 p.m. in Hong Kong.