Here are 10 things to know:
On Friday, Bitcoin appreciated by as much as $589.10 - or 3.31 per cent - to $18,392.6 per dollar, having opened mildly stronger at $17,805.5 compared to its previous close of $17,803.5. It was last seen trading up 1.13 per cent at $18,206.40.
Other major cryptocurrencies also rose taking cues from Bitcoin. Among peers, Ethereum (ETH) traded 5.90 per cent higher at $505.82, while Tether was up 0.12 per cent, XRP up 4.19 per cent, Chainlink up 2.82 per cent and Litecoin (LTC) up 3.55 per cent.
Bitcoin has extended its current upmove in past few sessions, having risen to a nearly three-year high of $17,868 on Tuesday.
The cryptocurrency's perceived quality as a hedge against inflation and expectations of mainstream acceptance lured institutional and retail demand.
Bitcoin's 2020 rally has drawn momentum from strong appetite for riskier assets following unprecedented government and central bank stimulus measures to combat impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and its reputation for being inflation-proof.
At Friday's intraday high, Bitcoin is up 153 per cent against the US dollar so far this year. Though highly volatile and still not recorgnised as legal by many central banks, Bitcoin has caught the attention of many investors for its exponential returns.
Major central banks around the globe are exploring whether to allow the issuance of digital currencies.
A bitcoin, similar to any other real world currency, is the equivalent of cash, but in electronic form.
Like a banknote or coin, it gives its holder a direct claim on the central bank, bypassing commercial banks and offering a greater level of security as a central bank can never run out of the currency it issues.
While many analysts are viewing Bitcoin as a possible inflation hedge, others are still skeptical about its acceptance as a substitute to real currency.