Will bitcoin stage a blockbuster comeback? Image Credit: Gulf News archive

New York: Bitcoin continued its rally Wednesday, surpassing the $12,000 (Dh44,070) level for the first time in almost a year and a half.

The largest cryptocurrency surged about 8 per cent, trading at $12,273.08 as of 1.41pm in Tokyo. It has more than tripled this year, with the advance accelerating this month.

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.

The last time Bitcoin climbed above $12,000 was in December 2017. It rose much higher, 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.