Bitcoin hit a new high of nearly $50,000 on Sunday as Wall Street and Main Street increasingly adopt the world’s largest cryptocurrency.
Bitcoin rose 3.2% to $48,800 on Sunday morning. Earlier in the day, the price was as high as $49,714. The cryptocurrency is up about 70% so far this year.
After long shunned by traditional financial firms, Bitcoin and other virtual currencies appear to be increasingly entering the mainstream as an asset and regular payment tool.
Bank of New York Mellon said last week that it had created a new unit to help clients hold, transfer and issue digital assets. Just a few days ago, Elon Musk’s Tesla revealed that it had bought $1.5 billion worth of cryptocurrency and would soon accept it as a form of payment for cars.
Purpose Investments, a Toronto-based asset manager, said in a statement that the launch of its Bitcoin ETF was approved by the Ontario Securities Commission on Friday. In a separate statement sent to Reuters, the CSRC confirmed it had approved the launch of the world’s first Bitcoin ETF.
Miami Mayor Francis Suarez also said Friday that the Florida city is looking to introduce bitcoin in its operations, a move that could pay dividends in attracting tech companies.
In January, BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, listed bitcoin as an eligible investment for two of its funds.
Credit card giant MasterCard plans to support a number of cryptocurrencies, boosting Bitcoin’s ambitions in mainstream finance, though many banks remain reluctant to get involved.
Cryptocurrency miner Riot Blockchain rose 14% on Friday, its highest weekly gain in a decade of 110%, and its biggest weekly gain since 2017. Marathon Patents Group, a digital asset technology company, saw weekly gains of more than 70%.