New Delhi, December 8: Cryptocurrency bitcoin on Thursday rocketed past USD 17,000 for the first time on Thursday. The surge comes in less than 24 hours after it crossed USD 15,000 mark. The sudden rise comes just ahead of the launch of Bitcoin futures on major exchanges which are scheduled for this Sunday. Bitcoin- the digital currency was worth less than $1,000 at the start of the year and now has reached an all-time high, sparking off a fresh debate of ‘a huge bubble’. On Thursday morning, the cryptocurrency crossed the $15,000 mark and later turned into afresh high of $17,000. Bitcoin prices had touched $11,000 to hit a record high in the last week. Before that, the cryptocurrency had hit $10,000 for the first time in history.

Bitcoin is rallying at phenomenal speed for the past two weeks, leaving many high and others dry in markets around the world. In wake of surge, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) cautioned users, holders and traders of Virtual Currencies (VCs) including Bitcoins regarding the potential economic, financial, operational, legal, customer protection and security related risks associated in dealing with such VCs. The Central Bank cautioned those trading in Bitcoins and other virtual currencies regarding the risks involved in the same.

The government has, however, made it clear that, while it doesn’t recognise Bitcoin as legal tender like paper money, there are no guidelines on Bitcoin trading. As per reports, Bitcoin’s surge has boosted the digital currency’s market value so much that it’s now worth more than 488 of the 500 U.S. The cryptocurrency’s gains Thursday morning hit new heights, striking well above $15,000 across widely varying exchanges.