Bitcoin Breaks Back Above $50,000 in Crypto Rally

(Bloomberg) — Bitcoin broached the $50,000 level once again as the wider cryptocurrency market continued its rally.

The largest cryptocurrency rose as high as $50,362 on Thursday, having briefly surpassed $50,000 on Aug. 23 as well — a level it hadn’t hit since mid-May. Ether, the second-largest crypto, rose as much as 3% to $3,843, continuing a strong run after its London upgrade early last month. 

Other coins also gained, with the overall crypto market cap jumping 5% to $2.3 trillion, according to pricing. Number-three crypto Cardano is nearing a $100 billion market value amid optimism about smart contracts, and Solana and Polkadot are up about 60% and 22%, respectively, in the past seven days, CoinGecko showed.

Cryptocurrencies have surged this year amid increased institutional interest and acceleration of development in areas like decentralized finance, known as DeFi, and non-fungible tokens, or NFTs. In addition, Twitter Inc. may be laying the groundwork to allow for Bitcoin tips in its Tip Jar feature, according to a recent report from MacRumors. Meanwhile, El Salvador’s Bitcoin law takes effect Sept. 7. 

“Two fundamental factors that are likely behind Bitcoin’s push: Twitter’s potential integration of the coin as a Tip Jar payment option, and the official launch of Bitcoin as a legal tender in El Salvador come Sept. 7,” Petr Kozyakov, co-founder and chief executive officer of global-payment network Mercuryo, said in an email. “While we are expecting the $50,000 price point to hold, Bitcoin buyers are exercising more optimism for even a bigger price gain by year-end.”

To be sure, not everyone sees the moves in altcoins as entirely beneficial.

“The previous phase of retail investors’ ‘mania’ into cryptocurrency markets was between the beginning of January and mid-May when the share of altcoins had risen from 13% to 37.6%,” said JPMorgan Chase & Co. strategist Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou in a note Wednesday. “While far from the record high of 55% seen in January 2018, at 32.6% the share of altcoins looks rather elevated by historical standards and in our opinion it is more likely to be a reflection of froth and retail investor ‘mania’ rather than a reflection of a structural uptrend.”

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