Bitcoin cash latest huge price gains outstrips those made by its more famous rival bitcoin

Bitcoin cash has experienced huge price gains that have outstripped those made by its more famous rival bitcoin, amid a major revival of the cryptocurrency markets.

The bitcoin spin-off rose in value by around 45 per cent over the last 24 hours, taking its market cap above $4 billion for the first time since November 2018.

One unit of the cryptocurrency is now worth $262 (£200), which is still a long way off the peak it reached in late 2017 of around $4,000.

Bitcoin’s recent gains of around 25 per cent appear modest in comparison, though it still remains well up on its rival with a current value close to $5,000.

Bitcoin cash advocates claim the newer cryptocurrency, which launched eight years after bitcoin in 2017, offers improved functionality in terms of transaction times and its ability to scale.

Other major cryptocurrencies have fared even less well from the market surge, with ethereum and ripple experiencing gains of around 10 per cent.

Theories for what caused the cryptocurrency revival range from a large bitcoin order by an anonymous buyer, to an April Fool’s joke that inadvertently triggered trading bots to autonomously buy bitcoin.

Another idea is that by passing $4,200 – the previous highest price bitcoin had reached in 2019 – it triggered automatic trades that had been set at this level.

“Bitcoin is on fire at the minute as it punches through its previous resistance level. The break above $4,200 was critical, as the market had been watching that level for a while,” said Simon Peters, an analayst at the online trading platform eToro.

“It’s difficult to determine exactly what caused the jump, but it’s most likely caused by short sellers covering their positions, adding to the upward pressure of the price. However, if we see the price hold above $4,200 going forward, it could be a sign that we are finally out of the bear market.”

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