Finance

Bitcoin cryptocurrency price is at an all-time high, but what is it exactly?

Bitcoin has smashed through $US20,000 ($A26,440) for the first time amid increased institutional and corporate interest.

The cryptocurrency hit an all-time peak of $US20,800 and was last up 6.4 per cent at $US20,675.

It has gained more than 170 per cent this year, buoyed by demand from larger investors attracted to its potential for quick gains, purported resistance to inflation and expectations it will become a mainstream payment method.

It’s been a wild year for bitcoin, which has soared more than 175% since the end of 2019.

Prices plunged below $4,000 in March as markets around the globe plummeted due to the COVID-19 economic crisis.

Bitcoin has smashed through $US20,000 ($A26,440) for the first time amid increased institutional and corporate interest. Credit: Chesnot/Getty Images

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