Prices of bitcoin once again neared the $50,000 level as it hit a fresh all-time high of $49,950.93 on Tuesday after iPhone-maker Apple Inc became the latest major company to allow bitcoin dealings on its network.
A Mint report on Monday said that bitcoin and a few other popular cryptocurrencies can now be used for payments using the Apple Pay app.
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The world’s oldest and the biggest cryptocurrency traded in a price range of $47,088.84-49,950.93 over the past 24 hours, giving it a market valuation of $930 billion at its peak. On 14 February, bitcoin had hit a high of $49,695. The digital asset was trading at $49,032, up 4% at around 1.45pm IST on Tuesday.
With a circulating supply of 18,630,131 bitcoins, the cryptocurrency will hit a market capitalization of $1 trillion at around $53,650 levels.
In comparison, the world’s biggest company, Apple, commands a market valuation of over $2.20 trillion, followed by Saudi Aramco (2.03 trillion, Microsoft ($1.80 trillion) and Amazon (1.60 trillion), as of Monday market closing.
Prices of bitcoin have been on a tear in recent times, logging a nearly 50% rise over the past 14 days, after some of the major financial institutions such as BlackRock, BNY Mellon, MasterCard disclosed their plans to enter the cryptocurrency arena.
Recently, Tesla also disclosed its $1.5 billion holdings in bitcoin, which sent prices soaring around 18% in a day.
“In the last 24 hours, we saw the new all-time high in the price of bitcoin. This time the high cannot be attributed to a single source or news but more in terms of global demand. This news was more in terms of looking at bitcoin as a mode of payment against how it happened during last week, where it was strongly getting considered as a hedge and asset class diversification,” said Sathvik Vishwanath, co-founder and CEO, Unocoin, a crypto exchange.
Meanwhile, the Indian crypto market continued to see speculation about the future of the industry with news of ordinance routes taken by Parliament to fasten the regulations and restrictions for cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin.
“While some of the document talks about private cryptocurrencies would not be allowed, the definition of private cryptocurrency is not publicly explained in any document. In the following week, the premium that used to exist in India for cryptocurrencies does not seem to exist, but on the other hand, there is no panic selling either,” Vishwanath added.