Bitcoin breaks above $19,000 and approaches record highs as cryptocurrency frenzy continues – Business Insider

Bitcoin themed balloons float in the air during the “Inside Bitcoins: The Future of Virtual Currency Conference” in New York.

  • Bitcoin soared above $19,000 on Tuesday for the first time in nearly three years, bringing the cryptocurrency within spitting distance of its 2017 record.
  • The price of bitcoin jumped as much as 3.3%, to $19,272.21, through the morning.
  • Cryptocurrencies have garnered new interest from both Wall Street and Main Street in recent weeks as companies and traditional investors embrace digital tokens.
  • The rally lifted other popular cryptocurrencies including Ethereum and XRP.
  • Watch bitcoin trade live here.

Bitcoin jumped above $19,000 on Tuesday for the first time since 2017 as Wall Street and Main Street rekindled their interest in cryptocurrencies and extended the digital token’s rally.

The world’s most popular cryptocurrency surged as much as 3.3% through the early morning to an intraday high of $19,272.21. The gains bring bitcoin just a hair below the all-time high of $19,783 reached in December 2017.

Cryptocurrencies have garnered new attention in recent weeks as companies and traditional investors accept their uses. Square bought $50 million worth of bitcoin in October, saying it sees potential for the token to become “a more ubiquitous currency.” Soon after, PayPal announced it would soon let its users buy and sell cryptocurrencies. The news pushed bitcoin above $13,000 and sparked speculation around whether the coin’s latest rally had the legs to bring it to new highs.

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Some of Wall Street’s biggest names have also backed the rally. Rick Rieder, Blackrock’s chief investment officer, said Friday that bitcoin is “here to stay” due to Millennials’ interest in digital payments. Stanley Druckenmiller said on November 9 that he’s “warmed up to the fact that bitcoin could be an asset class that has a lot of attraction.”

Others are skeptical the current run won’t repeat the boom and bust seen in 2017. Ray Dalio said on November 17 that he “might be missing something about bitcoin,” adding that its volatility diminishes its use as a store of wealth and medium of exchange.

Even if bitcoin maintains its lofty value, it can’t replace central bank currencies because governments will likely ban the token “and make it too dangerous to use,” Dalio tweeted.

The Tuesday surge also lifted other popular cryptocurrencies. Ethereum gained as much as 4.3%, to $622.73. XRP spiked 54.7%, to $0.79, at intraday highs.

Bitcoin traded at $19,235.79 at 8:25 a.m. ET Tuesday, up 166% year-to-date.

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