FILE PHOTO: A collection of Bitcoin (virtual currency) tokens are displayed in this picture illustration. Bitcoin’s rise was meteoric this week -- and its decline has been just as swift.
The Bitcoin bulls are back in control, with the largest cryptocurrency approaching its highest price of the year after breaching $13000 (R184345) for the first time in two weeks.

The digital asset gained for a third day to as high as $13154, continuing its recovery from the drop that almost pushed it below $10000 last week. It reached a more than 18-month high of $13880 on June 26. Yesterday’s advance outpaced rival tokens, including Ether and Litecoin. The Bloomberg Galaxy Crypto Index rose 1.5percent.

An upswing in mainstream institutional interest in the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry has been cited by many proponents as having helped fuel the rebound in prices for Bitcoin and other digital assets after a 2018 slump and months of inactivity to start the year. Others, such as Tyler Winklevoss, the chief executive officer and co-founder of Gemini Trust, say that individual investors remain a key driver in the rally.

“It’s the first time where the little guy actually is there and has an advantage structurally, because they don’t have the compliance, the legal departments holding them back,” Winklevoss said during a panel discussion in New York late on Tuesday.

Even so, global bank Goldman Sachs Group is looking to develop a strategy for distributed ledge technology after chief executive David Solomon said the firm is looking to develop its own digital coin for payments. Back in February, JPMorgan Chase & Co announced the development of JPM Coin for its clients to use in cross-border payments.

Facebook unveiled a new coin in June for payments that is called Libra, which the social-media company plans to launch next year. Ongoing geopolitical instability and volatility in mainstream markets may also be a factor encouraging some investors to buy into the space as an alternative investment.

Facebook, facing stiff scepticism from lawmakers over its Libra project, published a letter seeking to mitigate concerns about the proposed cryptocurrency ahead of Congressional hearings next week.