Bitcoin hit a record high of $63,179 as the cryptocurrency continues its 2021 rally ahead of the listing of Coinbase shares in the US.
The world’s biggest digital coin surged as much as 5.3 percent, exceeding its previous peak in March. Bitcoin’s smaller rival Ethereum also reached a record high of $2,205.
The largest US cryptocurrency exchange’s listing on the Nasdaq on April 14 at a valuation of about $100 billion is considered a landmark victory for cryptocurrency advocates as it is one of the most visible gestures of the growing acceptance for the digital asset.
Earlier this month, the overall cryptocurrency market capitalization hit an all-time record of $2 trillion, according to data and market trackers CoinGecko and Blockfolio.
“Coinbase’s debut will mark the first official juncture between the traditional financial avenue and the alternative crypto path. As such, a successful addition to Nasdaq should act as an endorsement of cryptocurrencies by traditional investors,” Ipek Ozkardeskaya, a senior analyst at Swissquote said.
The global investment banks Goldman Sachs Group and Morgan Stanley have announced plans to offer their clients access to crypto investments. Earlier this year, Tesla disclosed a $1.5 billion investment in Bitcoin and more recently started accepting it as payment for electric cars.
However, skeptics assert that digital coins have been boosted by the same stimulus which sent stocks to records. Regulators around the world are stepping up oversight and raising doubt on its usefulness as a currency. Several fund managers surveyed by Bank of America and Deutsche Bank have said Bitcoin was in ‘bubble’ territory and it can fall sharply.
Coinbase’s public debut this week is also boosting the digital coins of other cryptocurrency exchanges, like Binance Coin, which has jumped to become the third-most valuable cryptocurrency behind Bitcoin and Ether.