A continuing recovery in Bitcoin has put the largest cryptocurrency on course for its longest winning streak this year.

The virtual coin rose as much as 7.5 per cent to top US$40,900 on Wednesday during New York trading hours. It’s advanced for eight straight days, its longest winning streak since December. Other coins including second-ranked Ether climbed, boosting the Bloomberg Galaxy Crypto Index.

“The current momentum is strong” and US$45,000 is in sight but a conclusive break above US$50,000 “will take some doing,” Pankaj Balani, chief executive officer of crypto derivatives exchange Delta Exchange, wrote in a note Tuesday.

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Bitcoin remains far below its mid-April high of almost US$65,000. But bulls have taken heart from recent positive comments from billionaire Elon Musk and Ark Investment Management LLC’s Cathie Wood, as well as speculation over Amazon.com Inc.’s potential involvement in the cryptocurrency sector. The token soared Monday as some traders exited leveraged bets on declines.

Bitcoin has been rising even though a stock rout in China this week dented some investor appetite for risk, contributing to a drop in global stocks.

The crypto rally has taken the focus away -- for now at least -- from criticism of Bitcoin’s environmental impact due to energy consumed by the computers underpinning it. Regulators in China, the U.S. and Europe are also increasingly cracking down on cryptocurrencies or considering harsher rules.

Now there are signs retail investors are starting to pile back into cryptocurrencies, according to Ben Onatibia and Giacomo Pierantoni of VandaTrack Research, citing a rise in Bitcoin trading volumes across major exchanges.

“In a period when most other hyper growth stocks are struggling, the marginal retail dollar may flow into crypto instead,” they wrote in a note. “In this environment, we think cryptocurrencies could enjoy a decent run.”