The price of Bitcoin digital currency topped $50,000 for the first time Tuesday, as the cryptocurrency’s recent runup continues.
After reaching as much as $50,645, according to Coinbase, the price had slipped a bit to $49,355 later Tuesday. The price has soared 70% this year alone, riding on strong momentum in late 2020.
The price of what some call digital gold has been boosted of late by its recognition by such firms like Tesla, which recently announced it would invest $1.5 billion in Bitcoin and soon accept it as a form of payment.
The Blue Ridge Bank located in the state of Virginia also created a stir when it announced last week that it would allow its customers to buy and sell Bitcoin through its regional network of automated teller machines.
The U.S. BNY Mellon Bank said it would hold Bitcoin for its clients.
Online payment system PayPal recently announced it would soon accept payments in Bitcoin.
Credit card company Mastercard has also said it would soon begin supporting some cryptocurrencies.
Just a year ago, the price of a Bitcoin was less than $10,000, and while investors have been handsomely rewarded, the volatility remains a hurdle to Bitcoin becoming more like a traditional currency.
“If you were a merchant, why would you accept payment in an asset that could be worth 20% less a day after you receive it?” wrote Lee Reiners, who teaches fintech and cryptocurrency courses at Duke University School of Law, in an email to the Associated Press.
Reiners voiced more optimism on Bitcoin as an investment, adding, “There are now numerous high-net-worth individuals and investment funds embracing crypto as an asset class to be added to their portfolio.”