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VIEW Bitcoin crosses $50,000 for the first time

3 minute read

LONDON, Feb 16 (Reuters) - Bitcoin rose above $50,000 on Tuesday to a new record high, building on a rally fuelled by signs that the world's biggest cryptocurrency is gaining acceptance amongst mainstream investors.

COMMENTARY

RUSS MOULD, INVESTMENT DIRECTOR, AJ BELL

"With Bank of NY Mellon and Mastercard having given it an affirmation in the last week, it's a massive step forward for the bitcoin investors who view it as the future of money.

"(Tesla boss Elon) Musk's intervention has created interest, and the more people that adapt it and use it as money, then the greater the chances of it perhaps being taken on board as a mainstream currency. That would feed further speculative interest at the same time."

"There is a risk of intervention (by central banks). The rules can be changed... But the more people start to use it and give it greater legitimacy, the harder it is for central banks to push back."

JOSEPH EDWARDS, HEAD OF RESEARCH, ENIGMA SECURITIES (CRYPTOCURRENCY BROKERAGE IN LONDON)

"There's still just a steady march of institutional buying underpinning everything - retail interest has ebbed and flowed since the new year, but those institutional flows have been consistent.

"We tend to think that public perception on how much is actually being acquired on the institutional side actually lags behind reality, and hence 'skin-in-the-game' announcements from the big signposts in the space have been most wont to move markets on short time frames.

"We are getting into somewhat tricky territory now - most sensible prognostications for the next cycle high made in 2019 and 2020 fell somewhere in the $50,000-$150,000 range, so the spectre of a cycle high will start to cross some minds in coming weeks."

JACOB SKAANING, CYRPTO HEDGE FUND ARK46

"The recent market conditions and events both in the crypto space and the financial world at large put such a price movement within the realm of possibility," said Jacob Skaaning of crypto hedge fund ARK36.

"However, I'd like to offer a word of caution: while my long-term outlook is bullish, massive price fluctuations along the way are only to be expected. Bitcoin is still extremely volatile."

Reporting by Tom Wilson and Thyagu Adinarayan; Editing by Kirsten Donovan

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