Bitcoin tops $8,000 as it hits highest since July 2018

Litecoin and Cardano rise by 6% in one-hour altcoins buoyed by BTC ascendance

Bitcoin has nearly doubled in price this year, underscoring its volatility after a bruising 2018.

But there is an ongoing blockchain and cryptocurrency conference in NY called Consensus, with big investors and influential market players gathered to network and discuss the current state of the industry.

Bitcoin's latest surge happened on Saturday, when the two USA exchanges carrying futures are closed, making it potentially hard for short sellers to cover their wagers.

"Bitcoin is acting differently since moving above its 200-day moving average", with the gains occurring on strong volume, a good sign, Fundstrat co-founder Tom Lee, a noted Bitcoin bull, wrote in an email. Bitcoin had also rallied during previous Consensus conferences.

While no single factor can explain what led to the increase, prominent crypto-analyst Alex Krüger suggested that the trend appears to indicate large, institutional and systematic buying.

Earlier this month, the Bank of Canada and Monetary Authority of Singapore announced that they had sent each other digital currencies using blockchain technology.

Bitcoin (BTC), with a market capitalization that now accounts for 59.8 percent of the total cryptocurrency market, jumped 16 percent from its opening price of $6,800 to reach $7,889 at 15:10 UTC - its highest price since July 31, 2018, according to CoinDesk's price data.

Other market participants said perceptions of bitcoin's resilience in the wake of last week's $40 million theft from the major Binance exchange was supporting sentiment.

And that's aside from the volatility - Bitcoin peaked above $19,000 in December 2017 before crashing back to earth in the succeeding months.

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