Bitcoin price breaks $7k amid coronavirus crisis after investors warned about scam

The rise came as investors were encouraged by some early signs lockdowns in many countries could be lifted soon as cases and death rates slow. The cryptocurrency improvement comes just weeks after Britons were alerted to a scam. People claiming to be officials from the World Health Organization (WHO) offered to provide a fake list of coronavirus patients in the community targeted investors live in in return for a sum of bitcoin.

Bitcoin surpassed $7,000 (£5,687) to reach $7,170 (£5,844) on the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp exchange.

This was up about $1,000 (£815) on the same time seven days ago.

Alex Kuptsikevich, senior financial analyst at the FxPro, told Forbes: “[Bitcoin and cryptocurrency] purchases follow the signs of improving sentiment in the stock markets.

“As soon as risk assets start to attract demand actively, institutional investors may also increase their positions in the cryptocurrency.”

Before the virus outbreak began Bitcoin investors were confident.

A survey conducted in March showed account holders felt upbeat as the year began.

Many of those surveyed said they expected to see the price of a bitcoin to surpass $20,000 (£16,296) this year.

Bitcoin is built on the blockchain.

This is an online database which contains details of investors’ transactions.

Funds are stored in offline accounts known as “cold storage wallets” and require a password or private key to be accessed.

In March, local councils in Manchester, Norfolk and Pembrokeshire were forced to issue warnings to residents after reports of scams came to light.

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People have received suspicious text messages and emails from scammers posing as health officials.

They promised investors a full list of people living in their community who had tested positive for COVID-19.

It is not known if anyone fell victim to the scam and handed over bitcoins in exchange for the list.

The Financial Conduct Authority had earlier warned investors about the possibility of dishonest people seizing on the outbreak to make gains.

The rise in the price of bitcoins come as Spain, one of Europe’s hardest-hit countries in the coronavirus outbreak, reported a fall in deaths for the fourth day in a row.

Analysts have said the country is “close to passing its peak”.

Meanwhile Italy on Sunday reported its lowest daily death toll in over two weeks.

On Monday England’s death toll dropped for the second day running.

A total of 403 died from coronavirus in the past 24 hours.

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