RIYADH: Bitcoin rallied to a record on Wednesday, topping $66,000 for the first time, amid a wave of excitement about how the financial establishment is increasingly accepting the digital currency’s rise.
Bitcoin was trading at $66,439, up 5.9 percent, as of 12:40 p.m. Eastern time, after earlier climbing as high as $66,974.77. It has roared back after sinking below $30,000 during the summer to top its prior record set in April. That previous all-time high was nearly $64,889, according to CoinDesk.
The surge has come as more businesses, professional investors and even the government of El Salvador buy into Bitcoin, further broadening its base beyond its initial core of fanatics.
The latest converts came into the world of crypto on Tuesday, when the first exchange-traded fund linked to Bitcoin found huge interest from investors. Shares of the ProShares BitCoin Strategy ETF changed hands 24.1 million times in a resounding debut. It was off to another strong start Wednesday, with volume topping 19.6 million within the first three hours of trading.
The ETF doesn’t invest directly in Bitcoin. It instead invests in the futures market tied to Bitcoin, but the industry sees the ETF bringing in a new class of investors. Someone with an old-school brokerage account can buy the ETF, for example, without having to open a trading account for crypto.
“In July, we publicly predicted that Bitcoin would reach and most likely beat it’s previous all-time highs,” said Nigel Green, CEO and founder of deVere Group.
“This fresh all-time high deniably cements Bitcoin as a mainstream asset class. I believe that most investors should consider including crypto assets as part of a diversified portfolio.”