Bitcoin tops $50K, hits new record as it becomes more mainstream

 Bitcoin tops $50K, hits new record as it becomes more mainstream

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Bitcoin surged above $50,000 early Tuesday as a growing number of major companies warmed up to the world’s largest cryptocurrency.

The bitcoin price hit an all-time high of $50,584.85 around 7:30 a.m., continuing a rally that’s seen the digital coin’s value climb more than 66 percent this year, according to CoinDesk data.

The currency pared the gains to trade 4.5 percent higher than a day earlier at $48,936.02 as of 7:42 a.m., giving it a market value of more than $911 billion.

The latest spike followed a string of signals that Wall Street and corporate America are embracing bitcoin as an investment asset.

The cryptocurrency’s newest fans reportedly include megabanks such as Morgan Stanley, whose Counterpoint Global investing unit is weighing whether to add bitcoin to its list of potential investments, according to Bloomberg News.

JPMorgan Chase co-president Daniel Pinto recently told CNBC that the Wall Street titan will “have to be involved” in bitcoin if enough clients express interest in it. And BNY Mellon, the nation’s oldest bank, announced last week that it would start providing banking services for cryptocurrencies and other digital assets.

Those revelations followed Tesla’s blockbuster announcement that it had purchased $1.5 billion worth of bitcoin, which pushed the market’s oldest cryptocurrency last week. The Elon Musk-led electric-car maker also said it planned to start accepting payments in bitcoin.

The developments added more fuel to a rally that’s seen bitcoin’s price nearly triple over the past three months, CoinDesk data show. The 12-year-old asset has been boosted by its perceived resistance to inflation and hopes that it will become a more widely used payment method.

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