Bitcoin Price News: Cryptocurrency bitcoin jumped more than five per cent on Friday, January 8, to fresh record highs of $41,530, reversing losses from its earlier performance during the session. The world's most popular virtual currency slid to as low as $36,618.36 on Bitstamp exchange before bouncing back. The rival cryptocurrency - ethereum rose 3 per cent after plunging more than 10 per cent. Bitcoin has rallied nearly 1,000 per cent since a low in March. Bitcoin has had a broader bull run since October 2020, ever since US-based online payments firm PayPal allowed its customers to use the cryptocurrency on its network. It topped $30,000 for the first time on January 2, after breaching the $20,000 mark on December 16. (Also Read: Cryptocurrency Market Cap Touches $1 Trillion: All You Need To Know )
A higher demand from corporate, institutional, and even retail investors has influenced bitcoin's surge in prices, amid its inflation-hedging qualities and potential for quick gains. "We are seeing a continued demand spike driven largely by sustained and unprecedented institutional interest, showing no sign of abating as we move into 2021," said Frank Spiteri of digital asset manager CoinShares.
On January 5, JPMorgan strategists wrote that the digital currency has emerged as a rival to gold and could trade as high as $146,000 if it becomes established as a safe-haven asset. On Friday, Bank of America investment strategists stated that violent inflationary price action in markets helped bitcoin's rally in the last two months.
Bitcoin is also the first and largest cryptocurrency by market capitalisation. Meanwhile, the market cap of all cryptocurrencies rose 10 per cent to $1.042 trillion on Thursday, January 7, according to data from CoinMarketCap. Bitcoin accounted for around 69 per cent of the total market capitalisation, followed by Ethereum with a 13 per cent share. Bitcoin zoomed past the $40,000 mark for the first time on Thursday. (Also Read:From $2,000 To $20,000 In 3 Years And Counting: All You Need To Know About Bitcoin's Rally )
Witnessing a meteoric rise since March 2020, bitcoin has almost quadrupled in value, and surged exponentially since entering a four-digit value for the first time in 2013. Several major banks are exploring the possibility of allowing the issuance of virtual currencies. However, bitcoin is still a new-age asset and not yet recognised as legal by many banks. Bitcoin is equivalent to cash but is in electronic form. It was last down 0.70 per cent to $ 40,418.2 against the US dollar.