March 10, 2021

Bitcoin breaks through US$55,000 as risk appetite revives

By ellen

SINGAPORE (BLOOMBERG) – Bitcoin extended this week’s advance, breaking through US$55,000 (S$74,000) and stirring speculation the largest cryptocurrency could test the record it set last month.

The token rose as much as 2.8 per cent on Wednesday (March 10) and was trading at about US$55,600 as of 9.23am in Hong Kong. The wider Bloomberg Galaxy Crypto Index jumped to a two-week high amid a more general improvement in investor sentiment after US stocks surged on Tuesday.

“It wouldn’t shock to see the price make an assault on the February high of US$58,350,” Chris Weston, head of research at Pepperstone Group, wrote in a note.

Growing talk of institutional interest in bitcoin and the possibility that US stimulus checks will bolster flows into financial markets are combining to lift cryptocurrencies. The digital token has risen about 600 per cent in the past year, splitting opinion on whether a precarious bubble or bigger bull run lies ahead.

Bitcoin’s latest move higher has come as “the US passed the stimulus bill, and on the back of MicroStrategy and Meitu purchasing bitcoin,” said Annabelle Huang of crypto financial-services firm Amber Group.

“We have seen an increase in interest levels from institutional players globally,” she added. “In China, a lot of high net worth individuals have been inquiring on how to add bitcoin to their portfolio.” Recent trends signal digital tokens are stepping closer to mainstream finance.

For instance, JPMorgan Chase & Co has filed to issue notes linked to a basket of crypto stocks like MicroStrategy and Nvidia. Goldman Sachs Group has said it’s seeing substantial demand from institutions as it works to restart its cryptocurrency trading desk.