Cryptocurrency bitcoin continues to reach ever closer to the $5,000 mark, reaching an all time high last week of $4,890. Bitcoin's underlying software will receive an upgrade in December that will allow more transactions to be executed at once.
It's not entirely clear why bitcoin has continued its climb, though hype around the cryptocurrency's seemingly inexorable rise may play a role in how miners think of the coin. Meanwhile, the cryptocurrency has also become something of a "safe haven" asset — an asset that's expected to stay relatively stable in times of uncertainty — as tensions between North Korea and the West escalate. TenX co-founder Julian Hosp said in a recent interview that many of the company's bitcoin users are based in areas with potentially unstable governments in Africa and South America. Some bitcoin advocates also expect bitcoin to continue its upward trajectory because it is a scarce resource. Only about 21 million bitcoins can be mined. So far, about 16 million have already been accounted for.