p (Reuters) — Digital currency bitcoin hit a record high on Tuesday as demand for crypto-assets soared with the creation of new tokens to raise funding for start-ups using blockchain technology.
/p p Blockchain, the underlying technology behind bitcoin, is a financial ledger maintained by a network of computers that can track the movement of any asset without the need for a central regulator /p p Bitcoin hit a record $1,760.40 on the BitStamp platform and was last at $1,747.89, up 6 percent on the day.
So far this year, bitcoin has surged nearly 80 percent.
Bitcoin’s market capitalization on Tuesday soared to $52.5 billion, according to data from coinmarketcap.com.
/p p Aside from being an asset that can be traded on exchanges like stocks and bonds, bitcoin has become a mode of payment for some retailers, such as Overstock.com, and a way to transfer funds without the need for a third party.
/p p “We have an influx of new capital in the space and that capital goes back and forth among crypto-assets and bitcoin,” said Chris Burniske, blockchain products leader at ARK Invest in New York, which manages exchange-traded funds.