Digital currency Bitcoin extended its record-smashing rally on Saturday, beginning the year with a surge over $30,000 for the first time, with ever more traders and investors betting that it is on its way to becoming a mainstream payment method. The price of the world’s most popular cryptocurrency traded as high as $33,099 on Saturday, with almost all other markets closed over the first weekend in 2021.
It was last up about 12 per cent at $32,883. Bitcoin advanced more than 300 per cent in 2020, and with the latest leg higher has added more than 50% since crossing $20,000 just two weeks ago.
The blockchain currency has only been around for a decade or so, and in 2020 it has seen demand grow from larger U.S investors, attracted by its perceived inflation-hedging qualities and potential for quick gains, as well as expectations it would become a mainstream payments method. Investors said limited supply of bitcoin – produced by so-called “mining” computers that validate blocks of transactions by competing to solve mathematical puzzles – has helped power upward moves over recent days.Some also saw it as a safe-haven play during the COVID-19 pandemic, akin to gold.
“It’s very likely that the asset will eventually pass $100,000 per coin,” Sergey Nazarov, cofounder of Chainlink, a global blockchain project, wrote in an email on Saturday.