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Bitcoin Hits A New Record, Trades Above $66,000

Bitcoin

rallied to a record, topping $66,000 for the first time, as optimism surged for greater mainstream acceptance in the wake of the successful launch of the first exchange-traded fund for U.S. investors.

While the historically volatile digital currency spent recent days hovering in a narrow range as it approached its previous April high, the vault above happened much faster: the price added more than a thousand dollars in a minute just after the open of stock exchanges in the U.S. Big moves tied to significant chart levels have been a common phenomenon in the little more than a decade history of trading.

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“It’s a validating moment,” said Jesse Proudman, co-founder and chief executive at Makara, a crypto advisory firm. “It’s no longer a question of does this asset class continue to exist — I think that’s a really meaningful mark in the history of the broader digital-asset class.”

Bitcoin has climbed to its latest high atop a tide of pandemic-era liquidity, speculative bets and expectations of wider adoption by institutional investors. The ride was volatile: the token plunged below $30,000 in June amid criticism of its energy consumption and China’s crackdown. It then began to recover in part as the crypto sector adjusted to China’s broadsides.

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Amid all the price hysteria, many quarters of the Wall Street establishment nurse a deep skepticism about Bitcoin’s role in finance. Securities regulators are stepping up their scrutiny of cryptocurrency, with the U.S. government effectively blocking a Bitcoin lending program at Coinbase Global Inc. Critics have also cast doubt on claims the asset’s scarcity makes it a long-term store of value and note its slow uptake as a unit of exchange.

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Bitcoin rose 4.1% to $66,722 as of 10:45 a.m. in New York, bringing its gain for the year to almost 130%. The largest digital currency by market gained more than 300% last year and 95% in 2019, after tumbling 73% the previous year.

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