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The price of digital currency Bitcoin topped $20,000 for the first time Wednesday (December 16) as continued monetary easing by major central banks amid the coronavirus pandemic prompted investment in the cryptocurrency market.

Bitcoin traded at $20,781.57 as of 11:30 a.m., according to CoinDesk. Its value has tripled since the beginning of the year.

Symbol photo on the topic cryptocurrency. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE)(Getty/Kyodo)

The price of Bitcoin rose to the $19,000 level in 2017 when investors sought the cryptocurrency as a lucrative investment, but plunged to around $3,000 the following year.

Group of 20 major economies is stepping up efforts to tighten controls on existing cryptocurrencies while remaining cautious about allowing new global digital currencies such as Libra of Facebook Inc., due mainly to risks of money laundering and illicit finance.