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Bitcoin briefly nears $19,000 because, well, why not

The digital currency continues its extraordinary rise with a quick spike before settling down around $16,000. What's next?

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Roger Cheng Former Executive Editor / Head of News
Roger Cheng (he/him/his) was the executive editor in charge of CNET News, managing everything from daily breaking news to in-depth investigative packages. Prior to this, he was on the telecommunications beat and wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal for nearly a decade and got his start writing and laying out pages at a local paper in Southern California. He's a devoted Trojan alum and thinks sleep is the perfect -- if unattainable -- hobby for a parent.
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  • SABEW Best in Business 2011 Award for Breaking News Coverage, Eddie Award in 2020 for 5G coverage, runner-up National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Award for culture analysis.
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Terry Collins Staff Reporter, CNET News
Terry writes about social networking giants and legal issues in Silicon Valley for CNET News. He joined CNET News from the Associated Press, where he spent the six years covering major breaking news in the San Francisco Bay Area. Before the AP, Terry worked at the Star Tribune in Minneapolis and the Kansas City Star. Terry's a native of Chicago.
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Bitcoin

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Bitcoin prices briefly spiked past $18,000 on Thursday before settling down.

Screenshot by Sean Buckley/CNET

At this point, it's worth it just to hang on your bitcoins, given the extraordinary run that it's been on. The digital currency surged briefly to more than $18,000 before crashing down, according to Coinbase. It's now trading at more than $16,000. 

The action was so hot that by midday, the San Francisco-based Coinbase tweeted it was "currently experiencing record high traffic."

Remember, bitcoin was valued at around $1,000 at the beginning of the year, but it really began its big run over the last two months. 

At its current rate, it could climb to $17,000 before day's end. While critics fear there's a bubble in the making, the currency continues to rise in value. 

First published Dec. 7, 8:22 a.m. PT.
Update, 8:22 a.m. PT: To note bitcoin already passed $16,000. 
Update, 1:30 p.m. PT: Includes bitcoin reached the $18,000 mark.