Bitcoin hit $ 17,000 for the primary time in practically three years

Bitcoin is in tears this year.

The cryptocurrency barely hit $ 17,000 – a level it hasn't exceeded in nearly three years – continuing a wild run reminiscent of the 2017 monster rally.

The price of Bitcoin rose over 4% in the past 24 hours, trading at $ 17,030 and peaking since January 7, 2018, according to data from industry website CoinDesk.

Industry insiders say Bitcoin's surge this year – which is up 137% since the start of the year – was due to a number of factors, including a surge of government stimulus related to Covid and interest from big-name investors like Paul Tudor Jones and Stanley Druckmiller.

"The gap between the crypto world and traditional financial institutions has closed dramatically," Charles Hayter, CEO of crypto market data provider CryptoCompare, told CNBC.

"The result is that established players can now play well in the digital asset markets. The narrative that compels them to do so is this alignment of Covid, monetary policy and political disorder on a global scale."

Crypto fans have described Bitcoin as having properties similar to secure assets like gold, which investors flock to during times of economic turmoil. They claim that fiscal and monetary stimuli put in place in response to the pandemic are making government currencies like the US dollar less attractive.

Bitcoin's meteoric rise is also coming as various large companies take steps in the cryptocurrency space. For example, Fidelity Investments has set up its own digital assets unit to make it easier for its customers to trade crypto, and PayPal recently began enabling its users to buy, hold and sell virtual currency.

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