Source: PYMNTS.com

Bitcoin has continued to rise, hitting $18,172 Wednesday morning (Nov. 18), the first time the cryptocurrency has climbed above $18,000 since December 2017, CNBC reported.

It fell slightly, hitting 17,542.52 as of 3:39 p.m. Eastern Time. While the digital coin has been going through waves in its price point, some analysts and cryptocurrency fans said they think the trajectory is uphill. A Citi analyst earlier this month compared its movements to that of gold before its price surge in the 70s, PYMNTS reported.

Bitcoin has been on the rise in 2020 as it becomes increasingly more accepted by the mainstream payments industry. PayPal, for instance, added capability last week for all users to buy, sell and hold cryptocurrency in its app.

CNBC noted that the rise is also due to pressures put on traditional payment methods by the pandemic.

In other news, cryptocurrency exchange Liquid alerted its users in a blog post Wednesday that a “malicious actor” was able to gain control of several internal email accounts and access to Liquid’s files.

Liquid detected and contained the attack, which occurred Friday (Nov. 13), according to the post, and was able to “mitigate risk to customer accounts and assets.” The company confirmed in the post that while its customer’s assets are secure, personal contact information and encrypted passwords might have been compromised in the attack.

“We can confirm client funds are accounted for, and remain safe and secure,” the post stated. “MPC-based and cold storage crypto wallets are secured and were not compromised.”

The exchange will continue to investigate to determine whether personal know your customer (KYC) documents were compromised and is also in communication with the “relevant regulatory bodies,” according to the post.

Liquid encouraged customers in the post to change their passwords and two-factor authentication (2FA) credentials as soon as possible and to monitor credit reports and financial statements closely, and to report any suspected fraud.

“Once again, I apologize deeply for this humbling data breach and the loss of confidence that you may have,” said Mike Kayamori, co-founder and CEO of Liquid, in the post. “I assure you that we will be better and stronger and appreciate your continued support of Liquid.”

And, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission has charged John Louis Anthony Bigatton with one count of operating an unregistered managed investment scheme and one count of providing unlicensed financial services while allegedly acting as BitConnect Australia’s national promoter, according to an announcement.

ASIC has accused Bigatton of promoting the platform from August 2017 until its collapse in January 2018, the announcement stated. The commission has also charged Bigatton with four counts of making a false or misleading statement that affects market participation, alleging that he made these statements at four seminars where he was attempting to convince investors to apply for interests in BitConnect.

Bigatton has been banned from providing financial services for seven years, according to the announcement.