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Bitcoin price hits $50,000 for first time amid fresh Wall Street interest

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Anthony Cuthbertson
·2-min read
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Bitcoin hit a new all-time high on Tuesday, 16 Februaru, 2021 (Reuters)
Bitcoin hit a new all-time high on Tuesday, 16 Februaru, 2021 (Reuters)

The price of bitcoin has hit a new all-time high following further endorsements from Wall Street investment banks.

The cryptocurrency reached above $50,000 (£35,900) for the first time on Tuesday, marking the latest peak in a recovery that has seen it rise in value 10-fold since last March.

Both JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley appear to be considering a move into the cryptocurrency, with a $150bn (£108bn) Morgan Stanley investing arm currently eyeing up bitcoin, according to Bloomberg.

JPMorgan co-president Daniel Pinto also said the New York-based multinational could soon join other finance heavyweights by adding it to its list of bets.

“If over time an asset class develops that is going to be used by different asset managers and investors, we will have to be involved,” he told CNBC.

“The demand isn’t there yet, but I’m sure it will be at some point.”

Bitcoin’s latest gains mean it is just an 8 per cent jump away from having a market cap of $1 trillion (£719bn).

The surging price has been fuelled by both institutional investors, who increasingly seek to add cryptocurrency to their portfolios, as well as major payments firms like Mastercard and PayPal.

Interest has also come from other industries, with Tesla announcing a $1.5bn (£1.2bn) investment in bitcoin last week.

“Bitcoin rose more than 25 per cent during the week after a series of major announcements from companies, including Tesla,” Simon Peters, a cryptocurrency analyst at the online investment platform eToro, told The Independent.

“Tesla’s move sparked further announcements from other industries last week, with many of the leading names in banking and finance announcing similar plans to integrate crypto assets.”

Among these was Bank of New York Mellon (BNY Mellon), America’s oldest bank, who announced plans to transfer and issue bitcoin this year.

BNY Mellon executive Roman Regelman said at the time that “digital assets are becoming part of the mainstream” and that the bank would eventually treat bitcoin like any other asset.

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