New York: Bitcoin is picking up momentum once again, topping $60,000 for the first time amid optimism that the largest digital token will achieve wider adoption.
The cryptocurrency was at 60,012 as of 12:22 p.m. London time, bouncing back from a rout at the end of February following a previous peak set that month. It's benefiting from optimism in financial markets after President Joe Biden signed the $1.9 trillion pandemic-relief bill into law.
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"Bitcoin's resilience is proving to be the stuff of legend," said Antoni Trenchev, managing partner and co-founder of Nexo in London, a crypto lender. "Every correction is an opportunity to reset and restart the move upwards."
Bitcoin is up about 1,000% in the past year amid signs of increasing institutional interest as well as speculative demand. Advocates champion the cryptocurrency as a store of value akin to gold that can act as a hedge against inflation and a weaker dollar. Others argue that the rally is a giant stimulus-fueled bubble on track to burst like it did in the 2017-2018 boom-and-bust cycle.
Industry participants and some strategists point to wider take up as one reason why the current bull run is different.
Examples include Tesla Inc.'s $1.5 billion investment in Bitcoin and Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk's endorsements of the digital asset on social media. Billionaire investor Mike Novogratz, who runs Galaxy Digital Holdings Ltd., has said that Bitcoin could reach $100,000 by the end of the year.
"The announcement from the White House is very significant for risk assets in general, and crypto-assets specifically," said Simon Peters, an analyst at multi-asset investment platform eToro, adding that the "floodgates" are now open in terms of new liquidity.