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Bitcoin rings in new year with a bang

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Bitcoins extended their 2016 gains to scale a new high on Sunday, crossing the $1,000 in three years on the Bitstamp exchange, even as global headwinds and weak demand kept stock and currency markets on the tenterhooks.

A digital currency that ensures seamless movement of money without being tracked, Bitcoin appreciated 2.5 percent to hit $1,022 on the Europe-based Bitstamp exchange on January 1, consolidating its 125 percent gain in calendar year 2016, reported Reuters. The all-time high for Bitcoin is $1,122 recorded in the latter part of calendar year 2013.

Bitcoin hogged the limelight in India recently after the Narendra Modi government decided to ban high-denomination currency notes on November 8, 2016. ZebPay, the largest trader of the digital currency, currently adding around 25,000 new customers every month, registered 20 to 30 percent increase in queries about bitcoin after the Prime Minister announced the note ban decision.

“The growing war on cash, and capital controls, is making bitcoin look like a viable, if high risk, alternative,” Paul Gordon, a board member of the UK Digital Currency Association and co-founder of Quantave, told Reuters.

Besides ZebPay, another Bitcoin trader is Unicoin that raised $1.5 million in funding from a mix of Indian and US investors in September last year.

An update on www.bitcoin.com says the number of bitcoins is finite at 21 million, making it impossible to manipulate, as it happens in case of currencies.

“Bitcoin payments are impossible to block, and bitcoin wallets can’t be frozen. Short of turning off the entire world’s internet, and keeping it turned off, the Bitcoin network is unstoppable and uncensorable,” the website said.

Source:  http://www.ibtimes.co.in/bitcoin-rings-new-year-bang-710704