Bitcoin burst to its highest level in almost five months on Tuesday, sending smaller cryptocurrencies up, with analysts ascribing the move to a major order by an anonymous buyer that triggered a frenzy of computer-driven trading.
The original and biggest cryptocurrency soared as much as 20 percent in Asian trading, surpassing $5,000 for the first time since mid-November. By late morning, it had settled at around $4,700, still up 15 percent in its biggest one-day gain since April last year.
Bitcoin surged to near $20,000 in late 2017, the peak of a bubble driven by retail investors that pushed cryptocurrencies onto the agenda of mainstream financial firms. But wide interest waned as prices collapsed, and now trading is mostly powered by smaller hedge funds, tech firms and wealthy individuals.