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Bitcoin hits $50,000 as Bank of America says cryptocurrency just in the ‘first inning’

·2-min read
 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Bitcoin has returned to the psychologically significant level of $50,000 as analysts at Bank of America talk up the prospects of cryptocurrency.

Bitcoin was up 4.8% to $50,056 by Tuesday afternoon. The world’s biggest cryptocurrency was changing hands at levels not seen in a month. Bitcoin has been rising steadily since the start of the month, leading some adherents to adopt the moniker ‘Uptober’.

The broader market is also gaining ground. The market value of all cryptocurrencies in circulation was up 3.6% to $2.2 trillion, according to industry data source CoinMarketCap.com.

The rally comes after a downbeat summer for cryptocurrencies. Regulatory crackdowns on exchanges and other crypto companies around the world hurt sentiment.

There appears to be no obvious spur for the recent rally, however, comments from US Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell signaling he doesn’t plan to regulate crypto may have helped sentiment.

This week analysts at Bank of America also published a supportive note on the space. The bank said this was “only the first inning” for cryptocurrency and said “the digital asset universe is too large to ignore”.

“We believe crypto-based digital assets could form an entirely new asset class,” analysts wrote. “Bitcoin is important with a market value of ~$900bn, but the digital asset ecosystem is so much more.

“Our view is that there could be more opportunity than skeptics expect. In the near future, you may use blockchain technology to unlock your phone; buy a stock, house or fraction of a Ferrari; receive a dividend; borrow, loan or save money; or even pay for gas or pizza.”

Bank of America cautioned that the big risk to its thesis was regulation of the space. China recently declared all cryptocurrency transactions illegal and other watchdogs around the world are angling for more oversight of the space.

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