Bitcoin flirted with the $60,000 mark again on Wednesday, attempting to break through its all-time high reached in March. This week, increased acceptance of the world’s largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization reignited interest in bitcoin.
The price of bitcoin rose to an intraday high of $59,738 early Wednesday morning Eastern before falling down to $57,000. As of 2:53 p.m. Eastern, the cryptocurrency was up 0.98 percent to $59,413 USD.
“The bitcoin rally may be fuelled in part by institutional participation,” said Paolo Ardoino, CTO of cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex, “with recent announcements from Visa and PayPal inspiring new all-time highs last night.”
“Payments are becoming more and more tangible to fintech companies and their customers, which can pique retail investors’ interest.”
PayPal announced on Tuesday that its US customers will use their cryptocurrency holdings to pay for products and services at millions of its online merchants around the world. Customers will be able to convert bitcoin and ether, among other cryptocurrencies, to fiat currencies at checkout.
CME Group, the world’s largest derivatives marketplace, also announced on Tuesday that it is adding micro bitcoin futures to its crypto offerings. These will be a tenth of the size of a bitcoin, enabling investors to exchange bitcoin at a lower rate, and will begin trading on May 3, subject to regulatory approval.
Meanwhile, Visa announced on Monday that it will accept USD Coin for payment settlement on its platform through Crypto.com. Later this year, the payments company expects to open up the same path to more partners.
Bitcoin has increased by about 103 percent this year and has increased by more than 600 percent in the last year. In February, it smashed through the $1 trillion market capitalization barrier for the first time, as well as the $60,000 barrier. Bitcoin detractors have long said that the blockchain is a financial bubble about to burst, with no intrinsic value. Advocates, on the other hand, disagree. “I don’t believe bitcoin or cryptocurrencies are in a bubble,” John Wu, president of AVA Labs, informed Insider. “On an annualized basis, Bitcoin volatility is just under 100%. As a result, we have a very unpredictable asset class.”