Bitcoin hit a record high of more than $50,000 on Tuesday, continuing its blistering rally as major companies appear to be warming to cryptocurrencies.
The world’s largest digital currency by market valuable rose more than 3 percent to an all-time high of $50,389 just after 7:30 a.m. ET, according to data from Coin Metrics.
Bitcoin has had a boost from news of large firms like Tesla, Mastercard and BNY Mellon warming to cryptocurrencies. Tesla last revealed it had bought $1.5 billion worth of bitcoin and plans to accept the digital coin as payment for its products, while Mastercard said it would open up its network to some digital currencies. PayPal and BNY Mellon have also made big moves to support crypto.
Tesla’s use of corporate cash to buy bitcoin sparked speculation over whether other major companies would follow suit. Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi last week told CNBC that the company had discussed but “quickly dismissed” the idea of buying bitcoin. The firm is however considering whether to accept cryptocurrencies as payment.
These developments have led some crypto investors to believe the latest bull run is different to rallies past. Bitcoin skyrocketed to nearly $20,000 in late 2017 before losing more than 80 percent of its value the following year. Bitcoin believers say that, whereas the 2017 bubble was driven by retail speculation, the current cycle is being fueled by demand from institutional investors.
“I think bitcoin is a much more stable asset class today than it was three years ago,” Michael Saylor, CEO of enterprise software firm MicroStrategy, told CNBC’s “Street Signs Asia” program on Tuesday. “It used to be dominated by leveraged retail traders … on international markets with a lot of leverage.”