Bitcoin breaks $8,000 barrier amid speculation over spin-off

One unit of the cryptocurrency now valued at more than six times an ounce of gold, after tenfold rise since start of 2017

The price of the virtual currency bitcoin has broken the $8,000 barrier for the first time, prompting speculation that it could soar past $10,000 by the end of the year.

The rise means one unit of the world’s first major cryptocurrency is now valued at more than six times an ounce of gold, traditionally seen as a safe-haven investment in times of economic turmoil.

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