Bitcoin hits new all-time high

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Bitcoin, the world’s highest-valued cryptocurrency, hit a new record on Monday as it surged above $72,000.

The token soared to a fresh all-time high of $72,030, breaking the record set in November 2021 and bringing gains for the year so far to nearly 70%, according to CoinDesk data. In 2021, Bitcoin reached $68,790 as the crypto industry boomed and amateur investors poured savings into digital coins.

Analysts attribute the latest surge to cash inflows into US-based spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs), as well as to expectations that the Federal Reserve will soon cut interest rates.

“Bitcoin has started the week with a surge, dragging the rest of the cryptocurrency space higher with it,” DailyFX strategist Nick Cawley told Reuters.

ETFs allow more retail investors to hold Bitcoin indirectly via funds that trade on exchanges. Institutional investors have shown increasing interest in the biggest cryptocurrency by market value after the US regulator approved crypto ETFs in January.

The rally of the volatile cryptocurrency comes after its value plunged below $20,000 in 2022.  Nearly $1.4 trillion was wiped off the crypto market in 2022 amid bankruptcies in the sector.

According to SkyBridge Capital founder Anthony Scaramucci, who briefly worked as former US President Donald Trump’s communications director, the latest rally in the token is a “really big breakthrough for Bitcoin as a digital asset.” The financier added that it is a “much broader story for digital property in general.”

Late last year Standard Chartered Bank predicted that Bitcoin would reach $100,000 by the end of 2024, or even earlier. Cathie Wood, CEO of the investment firm ARK Invest, went even further, forecasting the Bitcoin price would breach $1 million by 2030.

Only two nations in the world have approved Bitcoin as legal tender – El Salvador and the Central African Republic. However, CAR later reversed the decision.

Bitcoin is recognized as a digital asset in many developed countries such as the US, Canada, the UK and the EU, with Germany, Denmark, Japan, Switzerland and Spain allowing Bitcoin to be used in transactions.

Meanwhile a number of countries, including China, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia, have banned Bitcoin. Сhina, once one of the most popular places for Bitcoin mining, prohibited all cryptocurrency transactions in the country in 2021 when it forbade banks and other institutions from providing services such as clearing and exchange, and made mining in the country illegal.

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