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Bitcoin price tops gold for the first time

Bitcoin price tops gold for the first timeA unit of the digital cryptocurrency Bitcoin has exceeded the value of an ounce of gold for the first time, BBC reported on Friday.

It closed at $1,268 on Thursday while a troy ounce of gold stood at $1,233.

The current high is being attributed to surging demand in China, where authorities warn it is used to channel money out of the country.

The past months' surge is a major reversal for Bitcoin, which plummeted in value in 2014 after the largest exchange collapsed.

The value of Bitcoin has been volatile since it was first launched in 2009, and many experts have questioned whether the crypto-currency will last.

Earlier this year, Chinese authorities cracked down on Bitcoin trading in an attempt to stop money flowing out of the country illegally. But the closer scrutiny from Beijing only briefly sent the currency lower. After it had soared to record highs in January, it has since picked its steady rise in value.

Bitcoin is attractive to some users because of its anonymity, as well as its lack of government control.

Bitcoin is often referred to as a new kind of currency. Yet like all currencies its value is determined by how much people are willing to exchange it for.

There are currently about 15 million Bitcoins in existence.
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