Bitcoin breaks $17,000

Crypto’s market capitalisation approaches all-time high

Bitcoin made mincemeat of the $17,000 benchmark on Tuesday, surging by 4 per cent.

The world’s leading cryptocurrency has enjoyed a bumper autumn, rising by 47 per cent in the past 30 days alone. It has also remained above $10,000 for the longest period in its history, 112 days.

Bitcoin’s market capitalisation has surpassed $321bn, within touching distance of the $335bn (£252bn, €282bn) record reached in late 2017.

The likely seventh week of consecutive gains can be attributed in large part to the increasing institutional acceptance of the once mocked and reviled digital currency.

While warm words from billionaires such as Paul Tudor Jones and Paul Druckenmiller may have somewhat boosted sentiment this year, the laying down of cold hard cash by a number of major corporations has provided the necessary rocket fuel.

Business intelligence firm MicroStrategy invested $425m in Bitcoin in August and September, followed soon after by Square’s $50m investment.

PayPal’s subsequent decision to provide cryptocurrency buy and sell services for its users proved to be a key moment in this push into the financial mainstream, with the payment giant’s announcement triggering an immediate 8 per cent jump in the Bitcoin price.

Perhaps the latest indication of the growing acceptance and public awareness of cryptocurrencies can be found in the tweets of Maisie Williams.

The actress best known for playing Arya Stark in the Game of Thrones series took to Twitter this week asking her fans whether she should “go long on bitcoin?”

Her poll has attracted 881,168 votes in less than 24 hours. Although with 53 per cent of respondents answering no, the crypto still has some way to go before it is universally accepted.

By mid-afternoon Bitcoin traded up 3.7 per cent at $17,389.

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