The bitcoin price scaled new heights above $53,000 on Friday morning, taking its year-to-date gains to 81% as the breakneck rally powered ahead.
The increase took bitcoin’s market capitalization to within touching distance of $1 trillion, at more than $980 billion. The world’s biggest cryptocurrency has added more than $400 billion of value just in 2021.
Bitcoin (BTC) traded at $53,038 as of 10.10 a.m. ET, having risen around 1.9% over the previous 24 hours. It earlier touched a high of $53,262 on the Coinbase exchange.
Elon Musk’s Tesla triggered the latest climb higher, after it revealed earlier in February that it had bought $1.5 billion of bitcoin in January and intended to accept it as payment.
Musk on Thursday night defended Tesla’s move, saying: “When fiat currency has negative real interest, only a fool wouldn’t look elsewhere.”
Dmitry Tokarev, chief executive of crypto custodian Copper, said: “While it is true that Bitcoin may be volatile, in a world of zero or negative nominal interest rates, it offers unparalleled return opportunities.
“The price of Bitcoin has quintupled in just over a year – from a little more than $7,500 at the end of 2019 to over $52,800 today.”
Underlying the rally, analysts say, are the huge amounts of stimulus governments and central