Inside Story

What is behind bitcoin’s surge in value?

The virtual currency has hit a record high of about $19,000 in recent days.

The digital currency bitcoin has moved from the fringes to more of the mainstream in the past few weeks, mostly because its value has risen at such an extraordinary rate.

And just like a surging stock, it has left a lot of people wishing they had either got in earlier or wondering how they can jump on board now.

But as ever, there are questions about how safe it is, how to regulate something which by its very nature is decentralised, and if it is just another bubble waiting to burst.

So, what is behind the sudden rise in the value of bitcoin?

Presenter: Kamahl Santamaria


Garrett Hileman  economic historian at the University of Cambridge and London School of Economics

David Vaile  co-convenor of the Cyberspace Law and Policy Centre at the University of New South Wales

Joerg Platzer – owner of Room 77, a restaurant and bar that first accepted bitcoin in 2011