The blockchain asset has only been around for about a decade or so, and demand has risen from larger U.S. investors in 2020, attracted by its perceived inflation-hedging characteristics and rapid benefit potential. Bitcoin's digital currency accelerated its record-smashing rally on Saturday, starting the year for the first time with a spike of over $30,000, with more and more traders and investors betting that it is on its way to becoming a mainstream payment tool. On Saturday, the price of the most famous cryptocurrency in the world traded as high as $33,099, with almost all other markets closing over the first weekend of 2021. The last time it was up was around 12% at $32,883. Bitcoin advanced more than 300 percent in 2020, adding more than 50 percent with the newest leg higher after hitting $20,000 just two weeks ago. The blockchain currency has only been around for about a decade or so, and demand from larger U.S. investors rose in 2020, attracted by its perceived inflation-hedging characteristics and rapid profit potential, as well as hopes that it would become a mainstream payment tool. Investors said that over recent days, limited supply of bitcoin - generated by so-called "mining" computers that validate transaction blocks by competing to solve mathematical puzzles - has helped power upward movements. During the COVID-19 pandemic, some also saw it as a safe-haven play, similar to gold.