Bitcoin Suddenly Soars Toward $60,000 Price — Roaring Past $1 Trillion As Fear Grips Tech Stocks
Bitcoin has surged back this week after its early 2021 bull run slowed, with the 18.6 million bitcoin tokens in circulation again worth over $1 trillion.
The bitcoin price has added almost 10% over the last 24 hours, taking it within touching distance of its all-time highs. Bitcoin reached $54,500 on the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp exchange — just shy of the $58,000 high it hit in February.
However, the surge comes as the world’s biggest technology stocks, including Tesla TSLA -5.8%, Apple AAPL -4.2%, Amazon AMZN -1.6% and Netflix NFLX -4.5%, lost ground and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite fell into a technical correction — meaning it’s fallen more than 10% from a peak it hit last month — on hopes of a faster-than-expected economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
Bitcoin has climbed over recent months due to a combination of Wall Street institutional adoption, corporate interest, and retail traders piling into the market. Tesla, the electric car-maker led by billionaire Elon Musk, set the bitcoin and cryptocurrency market alight when it revealed it had bought $1.5 billion worth of bitcoin last month.
Tesla stock has, though, slumped since it bought bitcoin, somewhat pouring cold water on speculation other big U.S. tech companies could follow.
Bitcoin’s fresh rally comes as payments giant PayPal PYPL -5.4% on Monday confirmed earlier reports it’s acquiring cryptocurrency security firm Curv as part of its push toward bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. PayPal’s revelation that it was opening up its hugely popular platform to cryptocurrencies kicked off bitcoin’s bull run in October last year.
Elsewhere, Chinese photo app company Meitu became the latest corporate to add bitcoin to its books, buying 17.9 million worth of bitcoin as well as $22.1 million worth of Ethereum, the second-largest cryptocurrency after Bitcoin.
Bitcoin investors and cryptocurrency industry executives cheered bitcoin’s latest price rise, with some naming the growth of decentralized finance (Defi) and the celebrity-fueled NFT craze as helping to bolster the cryptocurrency market.
“While big institutions see a speculative opportunity, coders in the crypto ecosystem see a new reality filled with untold possibilities,” Paolo Arduino, chief technology officer at bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex, said in emailed comments.