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Bitcoin crosses $50,000 as PayPal offers crypto products in UK

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·Senior City Correspondent, Yahoo Finance UK
·2-min read
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FILE - This March 10, 2015, file photo, shows signage outside PayPal headquarters in San Jose, Calif. PayPal reports financial results on Wednesday, April 27, 2016. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)
A rally in the cryptocurrency market, which began late on Sunday, coincided with the launch of PayPal's cryptocurrency products in the UK. Photo: Jeff Chiu/AP

Bitcoin (BTC-USD) has rallied above $50,000 for the first time since mid-May.

The world's biggest cryptocurrency climbed to a three month high of $50,379 early on Monday morning. Bitcoin remained up 2.4% at $50,308 by mid-morning in London.

Other major cryptocurrencies were also rallying on Monday morning, with ethereum (ETH-USD) up 2% to trade at $3,328 and Cardano (ADA-USD) 7% higher to reach $2.04. The broader cryptocurrency market was up 1.7% over the 24 hours to Monday morning to reach a market cap of $2.14tn (£1.57tn), according to data provider CoinMarketCap.

The rally, which began late on Sunday, coincided with the launch of PayPal's cryptocurrency products in the UK. PayPal (PYPL) said on Monday it would begin letting UK customers buy, hold, and sell cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ethereum from this week. It has been offering the service to its US customers since last October.

Bitcoin hit a 3-month high on Monday morning. Photo: Yahoo Finance UK
Bitcoin hit a 3-month high on Monday morning. Photo: Yahoo Finance UK

Watch: What are the risks of investing in cryptocurrency?

Jose Fernandez da Ponte, vice president and general manager for blockchain, crypto and digital currencies at PayPal, said the company wanted to "meaningfully contribute to shaping the role digital currencies will play in the future of global finance and commerce."

"The significance of PayPal’s entry into the UK market is its potential to process crypto transactions between consumers and businesses," said Laith Khalaf, head of investment analysis at AJ Bell. "This isn’t a service which will be offered at outset in the UK, but it’s already up and running in the US, where PayPal’s crypto ventures only began last October, so we can expect pretty rapid development on this side of the pond too."

Read more: Oil prices and stocks head higher after erratic week

Despite the recent rally, cryptocurrencies remain off the all-time highs reached earlier in the year. Bitcoin hit a record $64,863 before crashing to a low of less than half that in late July. The initial rally was spurred by increased institutional adoption and a revival of interest among retail investors.

"A rise in adoption of cryptocurrencies is a major reason for the recent surge in price," said Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at Avatrade.

Watch: What is bitcoin?

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