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Bitcoin had a terrible January. But it just hit $45,000 again

<i>Chris McGrath/Getty Images</i><br/>Bitcoin had a terrible January. But it just hit $45
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Chris McGrath/Getty Images
Bitcoin had a terrible January. But it just hit $45

By Rob McLean, CNN Business

Crypto fans rejoice: Bitcoin is mounting a comeback.

The virtual currency briefly breached the $45,000 milestone for the first time in roughly a month overnight, according to CoinMarketCap.

It later dipped back below that mark, and was last trading around $44,800 per coin.

It’s not clear what caused the latest surge, but the cryptocurrency’s price has been improving in recent days. It finally cleared $40,000 again last Friday after weeks of losses.

Still, the coin is down more than 34% from its all-time high — on November 10 — of $68,789.63, according to CoinMarketCap data.

Ethereum, meanwhile, was trading at $3,218.98, more than 3% higher than it was 24 hours before. That price is down more than 34% from its all-time high of $4,891.70, though. The meme currency shiba inu coin has also surged over 20% in the last 24 hours.

Bitcoin has “weathered the recent storm” and is gaining momentum, wrote Craig Erlam, a senior market analyst at Oanda, in a Monday research note.

“We’ve seen what bitcoin can do once it gets moving and while it’s still early days, there’s certainly reason to think the worst may be behind it,” Erlam said.

Investors had been jittery about digital currencies and other risky assets ever since the US Federal Reserve signaled it may unwind economic stimulus more aggressively than expected.

Governments are cracking down as well. Reuters reported recently that Russia’s central bank has proposed a ban on crypto use and mining. Russia is one of the biggest crypto-mining nations in the world, but its central bank said that digital currencies can pose a threat to the country’s financial stability.

The Russian proposal came just a few months after China launched a full-scale clampdown on cryptocurrency, banning both trading and mining.

But some countries are embracing crypto. India is planning to launch a digital version of the rupee, becoming the latest country to join the rush to create state-backed virtual currencies.

And electric vehilcle maker Tesla still has about $2 billion in bitcoin on its balance sheet, according to an SEC filing.

“We believe in the long-term potential of digital assets both as an investment and also as a liquid alternative to cash,” the company said in the filing.

— Diksha Madhok contributed to this report.

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