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Bitcoin pops above $14,000
The digital currency has shot above the $14,000 mark for the first time -- the third big barrier it's broken in less than 24 hours.
Bitcoin has enjoyed a stunning rise this year, drawing increasing attention from mainstream investors.
After starting the year below $1,000, it hit the major milestone of $10,000 just last week. Despite a flurry of warnings from top economists and business leaders, its upward trajectory has continued -- albeit with a few sharp dips along the way.
It had already zipped past $12,000 and $13,000 in the past 24 hours before popping above $14,000 on Thursday in Asia.
It didn't stay there for long, though. By mid-morning in Hong Kong, it had dropped back down to around $13,500.
The digital currency has suffered a series of steep drops during its epic rally this year, giving investors jarring reminders of its extreme volatility. After breaking above $11,000 last week, it abruptly plunged by more than $2,000 before resuming its climb.
Bitcoin's rapid rise this year has been powered in part by expectations that established fund managers are set to start pouring money into the virtual currency as it gains legitimacy.
It's also gotten a big lift from mom-and-pop investors in countries like South Korea and Japan who don't want to miss out on the prospect of further big gains.
Bitcoin is one of many cryptocurrencies, virtual "coins" that are "mined" by computers using complex algorithms.