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Bitcoin crosses record high of $10,000 milestone

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KATHMANDU — The virtual cryptocurrency Bitcoin has reached the record high of $10,000 on Wednesday to surpass its previous high records of $9,000.

On Wednesday, Bitcoin was trading at $10,899.99 apiece trading across multiple USD exchanges including Coinbase and Gemini showing traded spot value above the milestone figure. The total value of all the bitcoins in existence has now surpassed $167bn.

According to the Coindesk Bitcoin Price Index, the market cap for the virtual currency also reached a historic high of $168 billion.

Biycoin has increased more than tenfold in value so far this year, posting the largest gain of all asset classes, amid increased institutional demand for crypto-currencies as financial and mainstream use.

Between January 1 and now, Bitcoin valuation has seen a near tenfold rise in from $997.69 to its current value. In November alone, Bitcoin valuation rose by over $3,550.

Created in 2009, bitcoin uses encryption and a blockchain database that enables the fast and anonymous transfer of funds outside of a traditional centralised payment system.

But sceptics say it a classic speculative bubble with no relation to real financial market activity or the economy, most famously JPMorgan boss Jamie Dimon who labelled it a fraud.

As per some experts, the asset still has far to soar, but others say it represents a speculative bubble with nothing tangible at its core that could burst any time.

Bitcoin was established as a legitimate asset class when Japan legalized it as legal tender.

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Health

Deadly Nipah virus claims 12 in Indian state of Kerala

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NEW DELHI — At least 12 people in India have died from a rare deadly and contagious virus known as Nipah virus, according to news reports.

Four deaths were reported on Monday, including of a nurse who treated the three initial infections at the EMS Cooperative Hospital in Perambra. The death of the nurse triggered panic among hospital staff who have had their leaves cancelled to treat the sick, Hindustan Times reported

Two deaths were reported from Kozhikode and four from Malappuram district. At least six persons are in critical condition and another 20 are under observation, state health officials said.

It was recorded in Siliguri district in West Bengal in 2001 and is being suspected in Kerala now, according to media reports

Humans get infected by consuming fruit or date-palm sap contaminated by infected bats but while human-to-human transmission through body fluids is rare.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Nipah virus infection is an emerging disease that was first identified in 1999 during an outbreak among pig farmers in Malaysia and Singapore.

The virus is thought to naturally infect fruit bats (of the genus Pteropus), but it can also infect pigs and other domesticated animals, as well as humans, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The virus can also spread from person to person.

CDC says Nipah virus can cause an inflammation of the brain known as encephalitis. Symptoms can include fever and headache, followed by drowsiness, disorientation and confusion. People who are infected with the virus may fall into a coma within 48 hours of showing symptoms, the CDC says.

The virus can be highly lethal, with an average fatality rate of around 75 percent, according to the WHO.

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