Amidst global uncertainties related to the COVID-19 pandemic and the most chaotic US Presidential election in recent memory, Bitcoin prices have been galloping towards the record highs of 2017. On Friday, the price of the world’s largest cryptocurrency crossed Rs. 11 lakh (~$1,500) in India and, was trading at Rs. 11.97 lakh (~$1,620) on BuyUcoin when we checked. The price is within touching distance of its all-time high of Rs. 12.5 lakh (~$1,700) at the peak of the global cryptocurrency boom in 2017.

The rise in Bitcoin prices is part of a wider trend that has seen Ethereum, Litecoin, Ripple, Monero and other digital currencies also creeping up towards their all-time highs amidst increasing economic and geo-political turbulence globally. While Ethereum is currently selling for Rs. 33,090 per unit, Litecoin has risen to Rs. 4,829. Monero, meanwhile, is currently trading at Rs. 9,651 on the same platform.

The digital currency business in India is slowly coming back to life after the Supreme court overturned RBI’s 2018 ruling that barred banks, financial institutions and other regulated entities from dealing with cryptocurrency exchanges over “concerns of consumer protection, market integrity and money laundering, among others”. In a landmark judgement in March this year, the apex court quashed the two-year-old RBI order, calling it ‘unconstitutional’, sending millions of crypto enthusiasts across the country into delirium.

With cryptocurrencies continuing to become more mainstream around the world, Paypal recently became the latest traditional online payments platform to embrace the technology. The company, last month, announced that it will now allow its customers in the US to buy, sell and hold bitcoin and other digital currencies in its online wallets. The service can be accessed through the company’s website as well as its mobile apps.