Bitcoin leaped across the $9,000 mark on Sunday, boosted by reports that Facebook is soon set to launch its own cryptocurrency.
The world’s largest digital coin traveled as high as $9,381.82 in the last 24 hours, according to CoinDesk’s bitcoin price index. The last time bitcoin hit a level as high as $9,000 was May 2018. Bitcoin is up 140% since the start of the year.
It pared gains slightly on Monday though, dropping 1.5% to $9,157.59.
The more than one year high comes amid news that Facebook is reportedly set to launch its own crypto token as early as Tuesday. Several news outlets have leaked details of the venture, with one saying it will let Facebook employees take their salary in the form of the new currency.
Bitcoin has made a stunning turnaround in 2019, after a miserable year for the asset that saw it plunge more than 70% over the course of 2018. Other digital currencies also tumbled, but have experienced a similar rise, with ether more than doubling and XRP up 23% year-to-date.
Experts say the involvement of large companies like Facebook and AT&T in the crypto space is helping to lift sentiment, as it gives a degree of legitimacy to an industry long plagued by talk of illegal activity, speculative trading and regulatory scrutiny. AT&T said last month it would start accepting crypto payments through a partnership with BitPay.
Analysts at RBC Capital Markets said last week they believe Facebook’s virtual currency “may prove to be one of the most important initiatives in the history of the company,” giving it a chance to bring in more engagement and revenue.