Bitcoin smash past $21,000 mark to new all-time high

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The Bitcoin price passed $21,000 for the first time in history on Dec. 16, not long after the crypto asset broke the psychological $20,000 threshold.

BTC/USD weekly chart. Source: Tradingview
The recent rally to $21,569 on Coinbase at approximately 11:15 PM UTC, means that institutional investor MicroStrategy has seen its holdings double in price since announcing it had adopted Bitcoin (BTC) as a reserve asset in September, when the price was under $11,000.

However, not every high-profile investor has made out like a bandit. Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy said he sold his Bitcoin holdings in August and potentially missed out on more than one hundred grand in profit. Portnoy reported purchased at least $200,000 in BTC on Aug. 13 — when the price was under $12,000. The same amount of Bitcoin would be worth more than $360,000 today, with the price having risen 80%.

Alex Mashinsky, CEO of Celsius Network, predicted the price would likely drop soon, presenting a buying opportunity.

“Settle in, because we will be visiting the $20-$22K level at least half a dozen times before we break through to the $30K range later in 2021,” he said.

“I do think we will also re-test the $14-16K levels either over a weekend with low volume or with bad news hitting the street. That will probably be the last time most of us will have a chance to buy bitcoin below $20K levels ever again.”

Bitcoin surged as much as 7.2 percent to an all-time high of $20,890.11 — about two weeks after posting its last record peak on Dec. 1, according to data from cryptocurrency site CoinDesk. The digital coins were recently trading up about 6.1 percent at $20,681.16.

The value of the world’s biggest cryptocurrency has nearly tripled in value this year as it attracted investors hungry for fast gains and resistance to inflation.

It’s also been boosted by hopes that it will become a more widely used payment method, with mainstream digital payments firms such as PayPal and Square allowing Bitcoin on their platforms.

Cryptocurrency backers contend this rally is different from the 2017 surge that pushed Bitcoin near the $20,000 mark because it’s been driven by interest from institutional investors — along with big names such as Stanley Druckenmiller and Paul Tudor Jones — rather than speculation by small-time traders, according to CNBC.

S&P Dow Jones Indices — the Wall Street giant behind the benchmark S&P 500 stock index — recently announced plans to launch cryptocurrency indices next year, making it the latest mainstream finance name to dip its toe in the water.

“We have seen a significant shift in the demographic of those interested and invested in crypto,” Yoni Assia, co-founder and CEO of the online investment platform eToro, told CNBC. “[It’s] no longer the domain of just computer programmers and fintech advocates.”

Anthony Denier, CEO of online trading platform Webull Financial, said he has seen the new Bitcoin boom firsthand, signing up more than 250,000 new users to trade crypto in less than a month.

“20k is a psychological number,” Denier said. “Does it mean anything technically? No, but it’s something for people to rally behind and it lends legitimacy to the argument that this is not longer a bring asset.”

With Thornton McEnery

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