The world’s most well-known cryptocurrency traded at a fresh record high above $40,000 Thursday afternoon, representing a doubling of the asset in less than a month as it makes a near daily assault on new peaks.
A single bitcoin
on CoinDesk traded at a peak of $40,402, before pulling back to around $38,632, at last check. Bitcoin touched $20,000 for the first time ever back in mid December, then-highest trade on record.
Bitcoin already has surged 32% in January, after registering a return in 2020 of around 300%. The gains for bitcoin and other alt coins, or virtual currency alternatives to bitcoin, so far exceeded traditional stocks and bonds, even with the Dow Jones Industrial Average
the S&P 500 index
and the Nasdaq Composite Index
trading at or near records on Thursday.
Fanatics of the digital assets say the rally for bitcoin and its ilk differs this time from the fervor of 2017 and could signal a much more sustained climb for the cryptos.
The recent rally has been underpinned by increased interest in bitcoin from institutional investors and central bankers expressing a desire to create their own digital currencies.
Some market participants say that bitcoin may be drawing some demand away from gold, considered the traditional safe-haven asset, with a 5,000-year reputation as a currency and store of value.
Strategists at JPMorgan Chase & Co. speculated that a bitcoin could soon be worth $146,000, if it starts to pull more money away from traditional gold buyers, which the researchers think already may be happening.
Bitcoin investors have been attracted to the narrative that it could act as a store of wealth amid rampant central-bank money printing in 2020 to bolster an economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
On top of that, PayPal
recently allowed users on its platform to purchase bitcoin, as well as other sister cryptos like Ethereum’s Ether
coins, Bitcoin Cash
popular Cash App also allows users to buy and sell bitcoins.