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Bitcoin cracks $ 51,000 and hits a brand new all-time excessive

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Igor Golovniov | LightRocket | Getty Images

Bitcoin continued to rise on Wednesday, rising above the $ 51,000 level for the first time.

According to Coin Metrics, the brand new cryptocurrency reached a new record price of USD 51,715 at around 4:50 a.m.CET. It was last traded more than 5% higher at $ 51,222.

Bitcoin was founded in 2009, not long after the global financial crisis. It has gone from being a protest against the banking system to being a "digital gold" catching on with mainstream investors.

On Wall Street, major investment banks seem to be warming to Bitcoin. JPMorgan recently said it was seriously looking at the asset class, while Goldman Sachs has also shown interest in crypto. Meanwhile, a division of Morgan Stanley is reportedly considering adding Bitcoin to its list of possible bets.

Meanwhile, companies like PayPal and Mastercard have taken important steps to support cryptocurrencies. And Tesla said last week it had invested $ 1.5 billion in Bitcoin and planned to accept the digital currency as a means of payment for its products.

Bitcoin's recent rally has reminded many investors of the massive spike to nearly $ 20,000 in 2017, followed by a sharp dip the following year in which the digital coin lost 80% of its value.

But the world's most valuable cryptocurrency has since made a violent comeback, more than quadrupling in 2020 and up over 70% since the beginning of this year.

Bitcoin proponents say this is due to increased demand from institutional investors as well as the purchase of digital currency by companies like Tesla, Square, and MicroStrategy. Skeptics, on the other hand, fear that Bitcoin could be the largest market bubble in the financial markets.

JPMorgan strategists said in a statement on Tuesday that the current price will be "unsustainable" unless Bitcoin's volatility subsides. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have made a name for themselves for their extreme price fluctuations.

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Katherine Clark