Bitcoin rose to a record high on December 17, just a day after passing the $20,000 milestone for the first time, amid surging interest from larger investors.
Bitcoin breached $23,000 for the first time in history as more Wall Street names crowd into the the world’s largest digital currency up 220 per cent this year. As momentum builds, analysts predict more gains ahead.
The digital coin jumped more than 9 per cent on Thursday, touching a high of $23,256.92, according to a composite of prices compiled by Bloomberg. Bitcoin and the wider Bloomberg Galaxy Crypto Index have both more than tripled this year.
The world’s highest-profile cryptocurrency jumped 10.5 percent to $23,655, taking its gains this year past 220 percent, buoyed by demand from larger investors attracted to its potential for quick gains and perceived inflation-hedging qualities.
Smaller coin ethereum, which often moves in tandem with bitcoin, was trading 1.75 percent higher.
With bitcoin’s supply capped at 21 million, investors see in the cryptocurrency a hedge against the risk of inflation as governments and central banks turn on the stimulus taps in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“There will be a search for alternative currencies due to constant fiat money debasement,” Deutsche Bank analysts wrote in a note. “It does feel that bitcoin will continue to be in high demand.”
Cryptocurrencies emerged over a decade ago but quickly became associated with crime, trading glitches, hacks and wild price swings. It is only in the past few years that they have started attracting more mainstream interest.
Bitcoin remains less regulated than most traditional assets, but institutional investors have begun to shed scepticism towards cryptocurrencies as better market infrastructure make crypto markets more accessible.
The 2020 rally has also been driven by increasing expectations it will become a mainstream payment method, with PayPal opening its network to cryptocurrencies.
Still, few people or businesses use bitcoin for commerce.
Yang Li of digital foreign exchange platform Ziglu said modern personal money apps were at the forefront of ensuring easy, safe and fast access to cryptocurrency.
“Wider adoption will grow the value of bitcoin even more — this is just the start,” Li said.