Bitcoin climbed past $23,000 on Thursday, establishing a record high and continuing to delight its investors, who have seen the cryptocurrency rise to triple its January value in 2020.
As talks of a stimulus bill heated up, the bitcoin numbers shot up more than 12% and were at more than $23,500 Thursday afternoon.
The world’s most valuable digital currency, created in 2009 by unknown people using the alias Satoshi Nakamoto, enables transactions without banks. It can be used on products and companies such as Expedia and Overstock and to buy Xbox games.
• Merchandise can be purchased anonymously.
• International payments are easy and inexpensive because bitcoin currency is not subject to regulation.
• No credit card fees—a big deal for small businesses.
The primary value for most, however, is the market worth for bitcoin, which burst onto the get-rich investing landscape in 2017. Critics continue to question its intrinsic value, with investors such as billionaire Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett saying trading in the digital currency is more akin to gambling. After that bull run in 2017, bitcoin saw a major pullback.
“This run is completely different to the one in 2017,” said Eric Demuth, CEO and co-founder of cryptocurrency trading app Bitpanda in a CNBC story. “Back then, the price was driven mainly by retail investors. Now, we additionally have billionaires praising bitcoin and investment funds securing significant positions worth hundreds of millions.
Supporting the argument for the digital currency is the fact that many investors are on board seeking insurance against potential drops in other world currencies.
Several factors—including the likely federal stimulus money to come—indicate further growth, predicted to be in the $400,000 range, Scott Minerd, the chief investment officer at Guggenheim Investments, said Wednesday on Bloomberg TV.