Bitcoin prices were staging a fresh climb to all-time highs on Thursday as traditional Wall Street corporations waded into the crypto-asset sector.
On Thursday, The Wall Street Journal reported that Bank of New York Mellon Corp. BK, +1.11%, the U.S.’s oldest bank, said it would hold, transfer and issue bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies on behalf of its asset-management clients.
The moves, including Tesla Inc.’s TSLA, +0.65% announcement on Monday that it had invested some $1.5 billion in bitcoin BTCUSD, +5.07% and would allow its products to be purchased using the crypto, have represented a growing interest by traditional institutions in the digital asset world that didn’t come into existence until around 2009.
The steady acceptance of cryptos by major institutions was helping to send the world’s most popular crypto, Bitcoin, to fresh records above $48,000 on Thursday. At last check, a single bitcoin was changing hands at $47,856, up 8% on the session, after hitting a record peak at $48,297.35, according to CoinDesk.
Bitcoin prices have surged nearly 65% so far in 2021, far outstripping gains in traditional markets, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.41% up 2.8% thus far on the year and the S&P 500 index SPX, -0.28% boasting a healthy 4.3% in the past 28 trading sessions.
Bitcoin is by far the largest of the thousands of crypto currencies in existence and by dint of its acceptance as the first of the digital assets, it has garnered the most attention.
Bitcoin’s market value, representing the total value of all the 18.625 million cryptos theoretically in circulation, was $890 billion, according to CoinMarketCap.com. That represents nearly 62% of the total crypto market.