Source: bitcoin, the world’s largest cryptocurrency, is expected to end its successful year with a bang. It rose more than $28000 on Wednesday, a record high, and is up 47% so far in December, according to data compiled by the company. Bitcoin rose 6.2% to $28572.10 in Asia, the largest monthly gain since May 2019. In the face of the global coronavirus pandemic, the value of bitcoin has nearly tripled this year, while the index of the largest cryptocurrencies, the Bloomberg Galaxy cryptocurrency index, has soared by about 270%, as cryptocurrencies such as ether have also risen. Despite the recent price surge, opinions about cryptocurrencies remain widely divergent. Some continue to view cryptocurrency as a hedge against the risks of dollar weakness and inflation, while others question the effectiveness of bitcoin as an asset class in view of its speculative nature and boom and bust cycle. “While the increase in the number of institutions has become part of the current bull market narrative, we may see an increase in retail investors’ interest in bitfinex as a form of digital gold,” said Paolo ardoino, chief technology officer of bitfinex, the cryptocurrency exchange Regulatory concerns remain a broader issue for cryptocurrency investors. The securities and Exchange Commission this month accused ripple labs Inc. and its executives of misleading investors about XRP. While ripple plans to challenge the accusation in court, developments highlight the prospect of tighter regulation of digital assets. The rupee has plummeted nearly 70% this month and is under further pressure as coinbase becomes the latest trading platform to suspend trading in the token.