Finance

Bitcoin pushes back above $1tn market cap as it reaches two-week high

The value of the world’s largest cryptocurrency has surpassed $1tn for the second time after digital asset prices jumped.

Bitcoin’s price rose to a seven-day high of $54,457 just after 6am GMT on 9 March, pushing its market capitalisation above the $1tn mark. The coin’s value has risen more than 8% in the last 24 hours and is up more than 80% this year.

It is only the second time the cryptocurrency has held the same market capitalisation as some of the world’s biggest technology companies, having previously hit the mark on 19 February and held it for only a few days.

Institutional interest in bitcoin began in earnest after Elon Musk’s Tesla bought $1.5bn of the cryptocurrency in February to add to its portfolio. Musk later added that  “when fiat currency has negative real interest, only a fool wouldn’t look elsewhere”.

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Ether, a cryptocurrency on the Ethereum network, has also spiked in the last 24 hours to rise more than 7% at $1,800. Both coins benefitted from the advent of Chinese beauty firm Meitu, which said on 7 March that it had bought $40m in the two currencies, CNBC reported.

Other recent bets in the space include PayPal, which said on 8 March that it would acquire Israeli crypto-security firm Curv. PayPal intends to integrate the startup into its cryptocurrencies division as it seeks to provide support for buying, selling and holding crypto in future.

Banks such as JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs and BNY Mellon have all shown support for cryptocurrency and blockchain development this year, with Goldman moving to reestablish its crypto trading desk from mid-March.

READ HSBC, JPMorgan among banks dipping into crypto and blockchain — Here’s the list

In the week to 8 March, data from CoinShares showed 90% of digital asset inflows were bitcoin. Daily trading volumes of the cryptocurrency remain high at an average of $11.8bn in 2021, compared to $2.2bn in 2020.

To contact the author of this story with feedback or news, email Emily Nicolle

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