Bitcoin climbs to all-time high

Leading crypto up 175 per cent on the year-to-date

Bitcoin has broken its previous all-time high, surpassing the $19,783 record set during its 2017 bull run.

The world’s leading cryptocurrency began Monday below $18,200 but rose by more than 8 per cent to reach as high as $19,850 by mid-afternoon.

2020 has proved to be an tumultuous year for Bitcoin. In the immediate Covid-19 market sell-off the crypto sank as low as $3,966.

However, as time wore on, economic uncertainty continued and both governments and central banks around the world turned on the money taps, the oft-dubbed ‘digital gold’ became ever more appealing.

Indeed, while gold stands up by 21.7 per cent on the year-to-date, Bitcoin has risen by more than 175 per cent.

The surge enjoyed in recent months can largely be attributed to the increasing acceptance of the crypto by institutional investors and major corporations.

Grayscale, the largest cryptoasset manager in the world has repeatedly recorded record inflows from institutional investors throughout the year. Earlier this month, its Bitcoin Investment Trust surpassed 500,000 BTC, 2.38 per cent of the currency’s total supply.

MicroStrategy, the largest publicly traded business intelligence firm in the world, has bought 38,250 BTC since August, with CEO Michael Saylor describing it as “a dependable store of value and an attractive investment asset with more long-term appreciation potential than holding cash.”

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PayPal’s decision in late October to offer users the ability to buy, hold and sell cryptocurrencies arguably drove the crypto to its new all-time high. Bitcoin has surged by over 50 per cent in the five weeks following the payment giant’s announcement.

While Bitcoin has traded at just under $20,000  in the past and has attracted fervent media interest for the past decade, the increasing adoption and promotion of the cryptocurrency by major institutions and prominent individuals has led many to argue that the current bull run is starkly different from that of 2017/18.

Having long been characterised as a favourite of criminals and fraudsters, Bitcoin is increasingly becoming the favourite of billionaires. Earlier this month, Mexico’s second-richest man, Ricardo Salinas Pliego, revealed he had 10 per cent of his liquid portfolio in Bitcoin.

By mid-afternoon, Bitcoin traded up 8.8 per cent at $19,679.50, up 275 per cent from its March low.

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